New Poll Shows Healthcare Rate-Setting Is Politically Unviable

For Immediate Release
September 29, 2020
Contact: Grace Morgan
(202-855-4380)

Washington, D.C. – The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) released a poll of Senate battleground states today showing voters overwhelmingly oppose government schemes like rate-setting as an answer to surprise medical billing. Voters hold doctors and nurses in the highest regard, with more than 90% agreeing the COVID-19 pandemic has shown how valuable and vital their work is as they fight on the front lines. Proposals like rate-setting become even less popular as voters learn more about how it would result in doctor shortages, hospital closures, and harm to rural and underserved communities. 

“Rate-setting was unpopular before COVID-19 but it has now become politically unviable,” said TPA President David Williams. “Doctors and nurses are risking their lives to care for sick patients and voters have made it clear that lawmakers should stand with healthcare heroes, not insurance companies. Legislation that resembles rate-setting in any capacity will be met with strong opposition. By a clear margin, voters also make it clear they do not want a rate-setting law that opens the door for Medicare for All. Congress must move forward with a solution that protects patients and doctors instead of delivering a win to big insurance companies.” 

Key Findings

  • Voters have a very favorable image of nurses (97%), doctors (92%) and hospitals (82%). Just 49% say the same about health insurers. The strong sentiment towards health care providers is a bipartisan one, as more than three-quarters of Democrats, Independents and Republicans have a favorable image of all three provider groups. 
  • The coronavirus pandemic has elevated trust in health care providers among these voters. When asked whether the pandemic has increased or decreased trust to look out for their best medical interests (or the medical interest of their families), 86% of these voters say their trust in nurses has increased, 78% say their trust in doctors has increased and 65% say their trust in hospitals has increased. 
  • 91% of voters across these states believe elected officials should support the interests of health care providers over the interests of health insurers, including 96% of Democrats, 91% of Independents and 86% of Republicans.
  • 85% of respondents believe that health insurers put profits over the medical concerns and needs of their customers, a sentiment shared by Democrats (93%), Independents (86%) and Republicans (78%).
  • 75% of those surveyed believe doctors should be the ones to come up with a fair amount that health insurers pay doctors for the medical care they provide.  
  • And, in cases of payment disputes, 74% of those support an independent third-party resolving the payment dispute rather than the federal government.
  • Nearly 6-in-10 of these voters (58%) are less likely to support the benchmark plan once they learn it is a step in the direction of a single payer health care plan, including 83% of strong Republicans.
  • More than 9-in-10 respondents agree that the coronavirus pandemic has shown how valuable and critical doctors and nurses are to our society. 

The poll was conducted between September 4-10, 2020 among N=800 registered voters in Colorado, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan and Montana. Click here to view the poll. 

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