Insurance companies & government blamed for high health costs

August 19, 2013, 8:06 PM GMT+0

Americans generally blame insurance companies and the government for high healthcare costs, though Democrats and Republicans disagree over exactly which of the two is to blame.

The United States has the highest healthcare costs in the world, spending $8,233 dollars per person per year according to a 2012 OECD study. Norway, the country with the second highest per capita healthcare costs, spends $5,388 per person per year, while countries like Britain spend $3,433. This high spending produces a mixed bag of results - while the US does particularly well in treating people with cancer and is home to many of the most cutting edge of medical innovations, it does a poorer job with more basic care and has fewer doctors than many other developed countries.

The latest YouGov research shows that Americans generally blame either insurance companies or the government for the high costs, with most other healthcare players - such as doctors and hospitals - avoiding blame. 31% of Americans say that insurance companies are primarily to blame, while 29% say that the government is to blame. Another 12% blame drug companies, while only 4% blame trial lawyers - a group often blamed by doctors and politicians for driving up costs with 'frivolous' lawsuits.

These figures are largely a product of a significant partisan divide. Democrats (46%) tend to blame insurance companies, while a majority of Republicans (53%) say the government is the main reason for high healthcare costs. Democrats are also inclined to blame drug companies (17%), though 13% of Democrats agree with Republicans and blame the government for high costs.

Full results can be found here.

Image: Getty.

Join YouGov today! Your views can shape the news...