Vice President Kamala Harris visits the Durham Center for Senior Life in Durham, N.C., on September 1 as part of the Biden administration's push to lower healthcare costs. Photo by Cornell Watson/UPI | License Photo
Oct. 6 (UPI) -- Nearly half of Americans give the healthcare system an extremely poor or failing grade in the 2022 West Health-Gallup Healthcare in America Report released Thursday.
A representative sample of 5,500 Americans was polled and asked to grade the healthcare system A for "excellent," B for "good," C for "satisfactory," D for "poor" and F for "fail." The polling data revealed that a plurality of Americans, about 114 million when extrapolated from the sample group, rated the overall healthcare system a D or an F.
The respondents were asked to give individual grades for accessibility, affordability, equity and quality of care.
There were demographic differences between responses, with people of color generally rating the equity of healthcare lower than White Americans. Some 66% of Black Americans gave the healthcare system a F or a D for equity, while 53% of White respondents gave it an F or a D.
Responses about the affordability of healthcare were more consistent across demographic groups, with two-thirds rating it a D (41%) or an F (33%.) Only 1% of respondents gave the healthcare system an A for affordability.
Women were found to hold more unfavorable views of healthcare quality than men, with 38% of women responding with high marks, compared to 57% of men.
Gallup's surveys were conducted June 21-30 with 5,584 adults age 18 and older, living in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Timothy A. Lash, president of the West Health, said in a press release, "After years of higher prices, growing inequities, skipping treatments, getting sicker, or borrowing money to pay medical bills, it's no wonder so many Americans view the healthcare system so poorly."
Lash emphasized that the Inflation Reduction Act, which is aimed at reducing healthcare costs, has yet to remedy the issue of poor healthcare.
"This new report should send a strong message to policymakers that despite the healthcare provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act, most of which will not take effect for some time, there is still immediate work to be done to lower healthcare prices," he said.
West Health is a group of nonprofit, nonpartisan organizations dedicated to lowering healthcare costs and helping seniors age with access to high-quality healthcare.