Health Care Poll: Majority of Americans Say It’s Not the Feds’ Responsibility to Provide It

A majority of Americans say it’s not the federal government’s responsibility to make sure all Americans have health care coverage, continuing a trend that began to shift after President Obama was first elected.

Fifty-two percent say it’s not the government’s responsibility compared to 45 percent who say it is — the third consecutive year where a majority have said it’s not the federal government’s responsibility, Gallup said.

But ever since the question was first asked in 2000 through 2008, a majority said it was the federal government’s responsibility. After that, Americans’ attitudes started becoming more evenly divided.

“Given that Obama campaigned on a pledge to expand the government’s role in ensuring healthcare coverage for Americans, and then pushed for and obtained passage of the landmark ACA in 2010, these tangible manifestations of a larger government role in healthcare most likely created a significant backlash, particularly among Republicans and independents,” Gallup’s Frank Newport wrote.

Indeed, about two-thirds of nonwhites and 60 percent of people ages 18 to 34 — two groups that tend to lean more Democratic — think the federal government does have such a responsibility. Meanwhile, about six in 10 whites and people ages 35 or older — groups more likely to be Republican — say it does not.