Poll: 56% of Americans say healthcare isn’t a government responsibility

The number of Americans who don’t believe that the federal government has a responsibility to ensure that everyone hasn’t health insurance coverage is on the rise, according to a new poll from Gallup.

The poll found that just 42% of Americans believe that the federal government should take responsibility to ensure health coverage, down from 50% just two years ago. In 2006, 69% believed it was a government responsibility.

A majority of Americans, 56%, said that the federal government doesn’t have a responsibility to ensure health coverage. That’s up 10 points from 2011 and a substantial shift in opinion since 2000.

The poll comes amid a disastrous rollout of Obamacare, which has further soured public opinion toward the law. Gallup also noted, separately, that 53% of Americans disapprove of President Obama’s job performance. Just 41% approve.

Gallup notes that 86% of Republicans, 55% of independents, and 30% of Democrats oppose a federal government role in ensuring health insurance coverage. As you can see below, the shift really began in 2009 when the debate over healthcare reform began in Washington.

“The continuing implementation of the [Affordable Care Act] over the coming months and years will surely continue to shape Americans’ attitudes toward the federal government’s role in this area,” wrote Joy Wilke of Gallup.

“It is not clear how the ACA’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 that all Americans have healthcare,” she added.

Gallup conducted the poll 1,039 adults between November 7-10. It has a margin of error of +/- 4%. Past survey data on this question is available here.


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