In Health Care, Voters Prefer Competition to Government Regulation

A new national survey by shows 46% of voters believe increased competition between health care providers would do more to reduce cost than increased government regulation. Twenty-four percent (24%) take the opposite view  and 30% are not sure.

When it comes to improving the quality of medical care, 47% of Americans say increased competition would do more to achieve that goal as opposed to 20% of voters who say more government regulation is the better way.

Those attitudes have shifted little since September.

Voters who see increased competition as a better solution outnumber those who see it the other way around through every major demographic group. But there are some key differences based on party identification and age.

Sixty-two percent (62%) of Republicans say increased competition will do more to reduce health care costs, compared to 33% of Democrats who agree. Sixty percent (60%) of Republicans say increased competition is better than more government to improve health care quality, with 33% of Democrats again agreeing (see crosstab results).

Voters aged 18-to-34 are more likely than any other age group to prefer more government regulation to improve medical care and lower costs. But more of those 18-to-34 year old voters still say increased competition is a better way to achieve both.

These results come as elected Democrats across the country push for more government regulated and provided health care. Democrats in the newly-elected House of Representatives are preparing to hold hearings on a proposed “Medicare for all” plan. Meanwhile, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has just announced a $100 million plan to provide free health care for all of the city’s uninsured and low income people.

Data released earlier shows that voters think it is very important to ensure every American access to quality health care. However, just 19% support Bernie Sanders’ plan to ban private insurance companies and require everyone to be covered by a federal government program.

The mission of is to enhance the public dialogue through data-driven analysis that explores the underlying currents of public opinion (read About Us). We release new polling data daily, including updates of the president’s Job Approval Rating and the Generic Congressional Ballot.

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This national survey of 1,009 Registered Voters was conducted January 9-10, 2019 for by HarrisX, a leading research company specializing in online surveys (see Methodology and the Demographic profile of our sample). The Margin of Error is +/- 3.1 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

Neither Scott Rasmussen nor has any relationship with Rasmussen Reports® (see About Us).

Posted in Poll Results

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