Health Insurance

83% of Americans believe there is a Healthcare Affordability Crisis on our hands

With heated conversations taking place surrounding universal healthcare, ValuePenguin asked the people if they truly were dissatisfied with their current healthcare options and what they were willing to give up to address the situation.

ValuePenguin surveyed a national sample to understand people’s true feelings on the healthcare issue that is center stage for political debate and gain additional insight into the true priorities of Americans.

Key findings:

  • Four in five Americans feel as though the country is currently in a healthcare affordability crisis.
  • Forty-two percent believe the government is most responsible for the state of U.S. healthcare and are demanding change. Second only to the economy, political position on healthcare is a top consideration for 2020 candidate selection.
  • Nearly eight in 10 Americans are concerned about other Americans’ ability to access affordable health insurance, yet 35% would not sacrifice anything for universal healthcare.

One in five says healthcare is the most important reason they support that candidate.

With still considerable time before the 2020 presidential election, 58% of men and 43% of women surveyed have identified which candidate they support. Republicans are more conclusive with their decision, with 72% identifying a candidate for 2020 (compared to just 61% of Democrats).

Healthcare is not the sole force to determine candidate selection. ValuePenguin’s survey found that there are a host of hot-button issues in addition to healthcare, including jobs and the economy, the ability to win an election and immigration.

Healthcare was the top ranking reason for presidential support for Democrats, yet Republicans see the economy and immigration as more important.

Most important reason for 2020 presidential candidate support:

Political position% total respondents% Republican respondents% Democrat respondents
Stance on the economy/jobs23%27%18%
Stance on healthcare21%14%25%
Ability to win the election15%9%24%
Stance on immigration15%23%7%
Stance on student loan debt reform9%6%12%
Stance on gun control7%10%6%
Stance on abortion5%6%3%
Respondents identified as Independent and Other included in total

What is responsible for the current healthcare crisis?

Over four in five Americans feel as though the country is currently in a healthcare affordability crisis, and 42% of survey respondents blame the government. Women were more likely to fault the government than men.

A majority of people did report satisfaction with their current health insurance plan — 68%, to be exact. This was consistent across the aisle and amongst men and women. Price of premiums and deductibles was the leading cause of the dissatisfaction among those not happy with their current policy.

Leading cause of Americans’ dissatisfaction with their health insurance

Health Insurance Plan Opinions

Generational views of the U.S. healthcare position

Nearly 61% of Baby Boomers were dissatisfied due to premium and deductible increases. Republicans and those earning over $100,000 annually were also more likely to be unhappy with the rising price of healthcare.

Just over 47% of Gen Zers have difficulty understanding what is and is not covered in their health insurance plan. This sense of confusion was also shared among 38% of those with an annual income ranging from $25,000-$34,999.

Millennials and Gen Yers expressed frustration with the lack of in-network providers, with over one in five respondents from each age group dissatisfied.

Forty-three percent of Americans would be angry if they were required to switch health insurance providers.

Republicans would be more angered than Democrats to be required to switch health insurance providers, yet 27% of Democrats remain undecided when it comes to their feelings on the matter.

With 66% of Americans feeling loyalty toward their healthcare provider, they may not want to risk receiving the type of treatment they prefer. When asked what (if anything) they would sacrifice, if it meant every American would be able to obtain affordable healthcare, ValuePenguin discovered that 35% of people would not sacrifice anything for universal healthcare.

Sacrifices for universal healthcare% total respondents% Republican respondents% Democrat respondents
I would not sacrifice any of these things35%47%24%
I would be willing to wait longer at the doctor's office34%28%37%
I would be willing to switch to another doctor21%15%25%
I would be willing to pay more for my premium13%12%17%
I would be willing to pay a higher copay9%6%15%
I would be willing to travel further to seek medical treatment9%8%9%
I would willing to risk being denied coverage/treatment2%1%3%
Respondents identified as Independent and Other included in total

Two in three Democrats are willing to pay more in taxes for universal healthcare compared to only one in three Republicans.

Approximately half of Americans are willing to pay more in taxes for universal healthcare; however, this is heavily skewed toward Democrats. Over 66% of Democrats would pay more, compared to only 36% of Republicans.

While nearly 70% of people would be interested in obtaining Medicare for All, the results varied drastically by age. It is important to note that 55% of respondents believe there should be private coverage health insurance options in addition to Medicare, and that a universal plan should not be the only option.

Who is most in favor of having private coverage options in addition to Medicare?

  • 92% of seniors 74+
  • 59% of Republicans
  • 60% of those earning between $50,000 and $74,999 annually

Who would be most likely to drop current coverage and enroll in Medicare if there was no age requirement?

  • 49% of millennials
  • 52% of Democrats
  • 53% of those earning between $35,000 and $49,999 annually


To determine Americans’ feelings toward health insurance, ValuePenguin commissioned Qualtrics to conduct an online survey of 1,155 Americans.

Callie McGill

Callie is a Content Marketing Research Analyst at ValuePenguin, with a focus on insurance.

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.