New poll shows Americans reject Medicare negotiation once they learn more about the policy

A new Ipsos/PhRMA poll shows Medicare “negotiation” is not nearly as popular as some might suggest.

Cynthia Hicks
Cynthia HicksOctober 15, 2021

New poll shows Americans reject Medicare negotiation once they learn more about the policy.

As the debate in Washington around drug pricing proposals continues to intensify, a new Ipsos/PhRMA poll shows Medicare “negotiation” is not nearly as popular as some might suggest. Survey findings show that public opinion dips by nearly 50 points, overall, when Americans are presented with information both in support of and against Medicare “negotiations.”

This survey also sheds light on what should be an integral facet of the ongoing policy debate: Americans’ true health care priorities. These include protecting access to medicines and innovation, lowering health care out-of-pocket costs and reaching pragmatic policy solutions. Key findings include:

Support for Medicare “negotiation” plummets once people learn more about the policy proposal. When told that the measure could limit people’s access to newer prescription medicines, initial support drops from 63% to 14%.

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Notably, there is a shift in key demographics. After learning that the proposal could limit access, support for “negotiation” drops among Democrats (by 61 points), seniors (by 58 points), Hispanic Americans (by 51 points), and Black Americans (by 47 points). Similarly, only 15% of people support negotiation when told that taxing medicines up to 95% for non-compliance could take money out of the search for new medicines and cures.

Americans want policymakers to prioritize addressing insurance costs and out-of-pocket costs over prescription drug prices. Americans’ top health care concerns include insurance costs (44%); the pandemic (37%); bureaucracy, inefficiency and waste in the system (30%); and out-of-pocket expenses (28%). Only 26% of Americans cited prescription drug costs as a major issue. And when given the choice, 77% say Congress should focus more on reducing the overall costs of health care coverage, such as premiums, deductibles and copays, versus focusing more on reducing the costs of prescription medicines (22%).

Americans broadly support policy proposals that enable government oversight and address their more pressing concerns around health insurance coverage. Seventy-two percent of Americans believe the federal government should provide oversight and incentives to health care providers, prescription drug companies and health insurers to encourage more competition to lower prices in the health care system versus setting prices for health care services and prescription medicines and determining what services and medicines are covered by private health plans (27%).

Americans are abundantly clear on their priorities: 86% of Americans feel like politicians have lost touch with what the public needs from their health care. These survey findings reinforce the need for policymakers to address the most pressing concerns and priorities of patients through pragmatic solutions, not government price setting.

Learn more about PhRMA’s patient-centered, commonsense solutions that would address patient’s true concerns and voices. 

Download a fact sheet about the poll here.

For more details on the Ipsos/PhRMA poll click here.

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