Obama’s Legacy: More Americans than Ever Reject Government Role in Health Care

Marguerite Bowling /


In a stunning reversal, a new Gallup poll shows that a majority of Americans (56 percent) do not think it is the federal government’s responsibility to make sure all Americans have health coverage. The new poll reports that just seven years earlier, the American majority (69 percent) had the opposite view, believing that government was responsible for ensuring all Americans have health care.

The public’s shift from giving government a greater health care role started before President Obama’s first term. It picked up steam with an all-time high this year as Obamacare—the President’s signature domestic legislation—has largely botched its much-hyped rollout.

Interestingly, attitudes across three partisan groups, Democrats, Republicans, and independents, have all moved away from the idea that health care coverage is the federal government’s proper role, Gallup reports. Today, 86 percent of Republicans, 55 percent of independents, and 30 percent of Democrats believe the government should not be involved with health care. Gallup predicts Obamacare’s implementation will continue to drive the public’s perceptions about U.S. health policy:

It is not clear how [Obamacare’s] troubled rollout to date will affect attitudes over the next year. But as the debate about the implementation of the new healthcare law has unfolded, Americans have become less likely than ever to agree that the federal government should be responsible for making sure all Americans have healthcare.

Gallup shows that more Americans than ever are rejecting government-run health care like Obamacare and seeking patient-centered alternatives. Heritage has detailed several that could help Americans deal with pre-existing conditions, make their health insurance portable, lower health care costs while improving quality, and honor their right of conscience and faith—all without heavy-handed government intervention.

It’s time for commonsense health solutions to get their time in the spotlight. The American public is ready for them.