Poll: 4 of 5 Americans want lower drug costs
Tuesday, April 03, 2018
Americans appear to think the pharmaceutical industry has the most "muscle" when it comes to policymaking. So says the Kaiser Family Foundation, which notes that more than 70 percent of U.S. citizens think the drug industry has too much influence in the nation's capital with lawmakers.
For some perspective, average American citizens think the pharmaceutical industry has more power than Wall Street or even the National Rifle Association (NRA). Only the large-business community outranked drugmakers.
According to the study, as reposted by the Washington Post, drug prices are something Americans get up in arms about (pardon the pun). Roughly 80 percent of us think drug prices are too high, and both Democrats (65 percent) and Republicans (74 percent) agreed the industry has too much sway over lawmakers. It's good to know there's some common ground here.
The monthly poll also looked at views about healthcare. A few more than half think President Donald Trump might be able to get drug prices lower, but less than 40 percent of America's people think Trump will get the job done.
Alternatively, though, some think going back to Bernie Sanders' idea of universal healthcare coverage — like Medicare-for-all — could be the way to alleviate some drug-related expenses. Nearly 60 said it's an idea worth considering. Even more (75 percent) said they'd be glad to take a look at a similar type of plan should it be among those offered on a menu of others.
"There's more action happening on the state level; what we are finding is they're not seeing the same action on the federal level," said Ashley Kirzinger, a senior survey analyst for Kaiser Family Foundation's public opinion and survey research team. "They're holding the president accountable, as well as leaders of their own party."
Neither party is winning the battle of perception on this issue either, as those surveyed said neither side will get high drug prices shot down, and more than 20 percent said they didn't trust either party to get the job done — down from 12 percent in 2016.
Passing legislation to lower drug prices was at the top of the list of the public's priorities, making it more important than infrastructure, solving the opioid epidemic, immigration reform, repealing the Affordable Care Act or building a border wall.
For a matter of perspective, however, the issue doesn't necessarily rise to the top of Americans' concerns. For those taking the next election cycle into account, only 7 percent of people said that creating a national health plan was the "single most important factor" for how they would vote in 2018. And 22 percent said it wasn't a top priority for them at all.
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