45% Think US Has Free-Market Healthcare System, 34% Say Government Run

Forty-five percent (45%) of voters nationwide believe the United States has a free-market health care system. A Scott Rasmussen national survey found that 34% disagree and believe we have a government run system.

Most voters with a college degree believe we have a free-market system. However, those without a degree are more evenly divided. Most voters over 55 believe we have a free market system while younger voters are evenly divided.

While a plurality believes that we have a free-market system, government sources control 83% of all health care spending. A Cato Institute analysis of data from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid services found that:

  • 46% of all health care spending comes directly from government sources. That’s far more than any other source of funding for the industry.
  • Another 37% of funding comes from spending supported through substantial tax preferences. Broadly speaking, this includes all employer provided health insurance. The only way to get the tax break is to provide the insurance mandated by the government. Cato calls this “spending subject to government coercion.”

Data released earlier shows 48% rate the U.S. healthcare system as good or excellent.

However, results from other questions suggest a fair amount of confusion on this topic. On the negative side, 67% of all voters say the system is badly broken. More positively, 71% are happy with the medical care they receive.

As for the politics of healthcare, the fact that most are happy with the care they receive is a major obstacle to reform. For these voters, a solid majority, there is little upside to reform and plenty of downside. No matter how bad the health care system is today, there is a rational concern that Congress could make it worse.

Other data recently released shows that just 22% believe that having affordable health insurance guarantees access to quality health care.

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Note: Neither Scott Rasmussen, ScottRasmussen.com, nor RMG Research, Inc. have any affiliation with Rasmussen Reports. While Scott Rasmussen founded that firm, he left more than seven years ago and has had no involvement since that time.


The online survey of 1,000 Registered Voters was conducted by Scott Rasmussen on June 15, 2021. Field work for the survey was conducted by RMG Research, Inc.   Certain quotas were applied, and the sample was lightly weighted by geography, gender, age, race, education, internet usage, and political party to reasonably reflect the nation’s population of Registered Voters. Other variables were reviewed to ensure that the final sample is representative of that population.

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