A slim majority of Americans are dissatisfied with the overall quality of healthcare in the United States, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll released Sunday, yet a heftier percentage say they are satisfied when questioned about the quality of their own care.
Some 54% of those polled say they are very dissatisfied or somewhat dissatisfied with overall healthcare quality, while 44% say they are satisfied. The poll finds 85% are satisfied with the quality of healthcare they receive.
With regard to physician access, 83% say they are satisfied with their ability to get a doctor's appointment when they want one, 78% are satisfied with their ability to see top-quality medical specialists, and 77% say they are satisfied with their ability to get the most sophisticated medical treatments.
Eight out of 10 Americans say it would be more important to provide universal healthcare coverage, even if it meant paying higher taxes, than to hold down taxes and leave some people uninsured.
As for the total cost of healthcare, the poll finds 78% dissatisfied and 21% satisfied. About 53% say they are worried they might lose their health insurance should they lose their job.
According to the poll, Americans appear to be ready for a change in how health insurance is financed.
Six out of 10 say they would prefer a universal health insurance program in which everyone is covered under a program like Medicare that is run by the government and financed by taxpayers, compared with three out of 10 who say they prefer the current health system whereby most people get their health insurance from private employers, leaving some people with no insurance.
However, if universal coverage limited choice of physicians, the percentage of those who would support it falls to 56%, with 42% opposing limited choice.
The poll is based on telephone interviews conducted Oct. 9 through Oct. 13 with 1,000 adults and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.