New CVS Health Survey Reveals Majority of Americans Want Change to Improve the State of U.S. Health Care

WOONSOCKET, R.I.-- Results of a new national survey from CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) released today found that over half (56 percent) of Americans say the U.S. health care system does not work well for them, while overwhelming majorities agree the system is in need of reform (73 percent) and is currently too politicized (69 percent).

Of those Americans frustrated by the current state of U.S. health care, 65 percent say it is too expensive, and the affordability of health care, health insurance and prescription drugs top the list of Americans' most urgent concerns.

The results of the national survey of 2,201 adults, conducted online by Morning Consult on behalf of CVS Health in October 2017 and released at the Forbes Health Care Summit, also found that more Americans (41 percent) believe health care in the U.S. has generally gotten worse rather than improved over the past five years. However, when it comes to their personal experience, a plurality say their own health care has largely not changed, and a larger share of Americans say it has gotten better (28 percent) than who say it has gotten worse (23 percent).

Despite generally negative views of health care in the United States, a vast majority of insured respondents (83 percent) say they are somewhat or very satisfied with their health plans. However, nearly a third report that they did not have a choice in the health plan that was offered to them.

At the same time, respondents of the survey are hopeful about the health care system's future state, particularly for the next generation of Americans. This sentiment is particularly strong among American parents of whom 52 percent say they are optimistic their children will have better health care than they did at their age. They point to innovation as the reason, with 65 percent who say advances in health care will make lives safer and 66 percent who say advances will make lives longer.

However, the survey reveals limits to Americans' optimism as a skeptical public questions whether effective health care reform will eliminate regulatory barriers to innovation and put patients first. According to the survey, a plurality of Americans (45 percent) feel there is too much regulation in the way of innovation in health care. Furthermore, three out of five Americans say decisions made in health care put the bottom line ahead of patients, whereas only one in five say that either decisions put patients first or they are at least considered equally with the bottom line.

"While we see significant frustration in this poll with the cost and quality of healthcare, there is a sense of hope among Americans about the future," said CVS Health Chief Medical Officer Troyen A. Brennan, M.D., M.P.H. "These findings underscore a challenging set of pain points in the system which should serve as a catalyst for all players in health care patients, providers, payors and policymakers to work together to pursue the necessary reforms and innovations that improve quality and affordability and make a complex system easier to navigate for a more empowered health care consumer."