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U.S.: Americans Still Split on Gov't Healthcare Role - Gallup
Source: globaltimes.cn
Source Date: Friday, December 09, 2016
Focus: ICT for MDGs, Institution and HR Management
Country: United States
Created: Dec 12, 2016

Slightly more Americans agree, or 52 percent, than disagree, at 45 percent, that the federal government is responsible for making sure all Americans have healthcare coverage, according to a Gallup poll released Thursday. 

This balance of views is similar to last year but represents a shift from 2012 to 2014, when majorities said ensuring healthcare coverage for all was not the government's job, Gallup found. 

The poll comes at a time when President-elect Donald Trump has promised to repeal and replace US President Barack Obama's healthcare overhaul, or Obamacare, but has said he'd like to keep certain elements of the current system. Those include forcing insurers to cover adults with pre-existing conditions and allowing parents' insurance to cover their children until they are 26 years old. 

While the details of what could replace Obamacare are still unknown, slight majorities of Americans favor government ensuring healthcare coverage and, separately, a system based on private insurance -- both of which are major elements of Obamacare it currently stands, Gallup revealed. 

This could complicate the president-elect's efforts to undo Obamacare while appealing to the interests of the Americans who recently elected him, Gallup found. 

Compared with today, Americans were more widely inclined to say ensuring healthcare coverage is a federal responsibility between 2000 and 2008, with majorities of 54 percent to 69 percent saying this. But as Obama's healthcare law was debated and implemented, the issue became politicized, leading to a nearly even division on the question from 2009 to 2011. 

By 2012, sentiment against healthcare being a government responsibility swelled to 54 percent, and it remained the majority view through 2014. But last year's poll found Americans shifting more toward the view that the government should ensure that all have healthcare, and this holds today, Gallup found. 

Nearly three-quarters of Republicans say it is not the government's responsibility to make sure people have healthcare coverage, and prefer a system based on private insurance, Gallup said. 

Meanwhile, a majority of Democrats, or 56 percent, contend that it is the government's responsibility to provide healthcare and they prefer a government-run system, Gallup said. 

Roughly equal percentages of Democrats believe it is the government's responsibility to ensure insurance coverage but prefer a private system, at 16 percent, or take the free-enterprise view, at 14 percent, Gallup found.
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