About 51 percent of U.S. adults say the federal government is responsible for making sure all Americans have health coverage.
That percentage is down from a recent peak of 69 percent, recorded in 2006, but it’s up from 45 percent in 2014, and it’s up from a recent nadir of 42 percent, recorded in 2013.
Justin McCarthy, a Gallup analyst, published those figures in a summary of results from surveys of 1,021 U.S. adults ages 18 and older, living in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, conducted from Nov. 4 through Nov. 8.
Gallup asked survey participants a separate question about whether the participants would prefer that the United States have a “government-run health care system” or “a system based mostly on private health insurance.”
Support for a “government-run system” has increased to 41 percent this year, from 35 percent in 2014. Support for a government-run system is at the highest level Gallup has recorded since at least 2010.
The percentage of participants who said they prefer a system based on private insurance fell to 55 percent, from 61 percent a year ago. That’s the lowest level of support for a system based on private insurance since at least 2010.
The younger the participants were, the more likely they were to support a government-run system. The participants ages 65 and over, who mostly qualify for Medicare, expressed strong support for private insurance: 63 percent said they want a system based on private insurance, and only 31 percent said they want a government-run system.
The share supporting a government-run system was 38 percent in the 50-64 age group; 41 percent in the 30-49 age group; and 53 percent in the 18-29 age group.
Support for the government taking responsibility for everyone having health coverage was stronger than support for a “government-run health care system” in every age group.
In the 18-29 age group, for example, 61 percent of the participants said the government should be responsible for everyone having health coverage.
Democratic support for the government making sure everyone has health coverage increased to 79 percent this year, from 70 percent in 2014.
Among Republicans and participants who “lean Republican,” support for the idea that the government should make sure everyone has health coverage fell to 22 percent, from 20 percent. The margin of error is 4 percentage points, meaning that the percentage of Republicans and leaners who think the government should make sure everyone has health coverage might be about the same this year as it was last year.
But Gallup found that, among people in all parties who say they disapprove of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the percentage who said the government should make sure everyone has health coverage increased to 26 percent, from 22 percent.