U.S. voters: Drug companies have too much clout inside Beltway

March 30, 2018

More than 12 months into President Donald Trump’s four-year term, half of the American public (52%) believe that passing legislation to bring down the price of prescription drugs should be a “top priority” for the White House and the U.S. Congress, based on findings of a Kaiser Health Tracking Poll released on March 23. However, fewer than half (39%) say they are confident that President Trump and his administration will be able to deliver lower prices than Americans currently are paying.

Indeed, fully 72% of those polled by Kaiser say that pharmaceutical companies have too much influence in Washington—more than say the same (52%) about the National Rifle Association.

There is strong agreement among partisans on the influence of pharmaceutical companies—with majorities of both Democrats (65%) and Republicans (74%) stating that drug companies have “too much influence” inside the Beltway.

This month’s Kaiser Health Tracking Poll finds that six in ten (59%) U.S. adults favor a national health plan, or Medicare-for-all, under which all Americans would get their insurance from a single government plan – including a majority of both Democrats and Independents and about one-third of Republicans.

Support for such a proposal increases among the overall public (75%) and among partisans (87% of Democrats, 74% of Independents, and 64% of Republicans) when framed as an option for anyone who wants it, but people who currently have other forms of coverage can keep the coverage they already have.

However, the pollsters provide a word of caution: It is unclear how support would fare if these proposals became part of the larger public debate as previous KFF polling has found the public’s attitudes can be quite malleable.

Research contact: @AshleyKirzinger

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