Poll: Voters sound off on health care affordability, medical bill fears

This is a preview of our Texas 2036 newsletter highlighting voter attitudes on health care affordability and medical bill fears. To receive this weekly look at our work, sign up here.

TVP 4th release newsletter top image

More Texans Skipping Care Due to Uncertainty Over Medical Bills

Setting the stage: Originally launched in 2020, our 7th Texas Voter Poll was conducted at the end of August.

  • The poll gauges public support for nonpartisan policies and lays out a roadmap for state leaders to strengthen voter confidence and move Texas forward.

Medical bill fears: Texans are telling us in greater numbers that worries over the size of medical bills are leading them to postpone medical care.

  • 41% of Texas voters told us they or a household member postponed or skipped treatment or surgery because of uncertainty over what the final price of care might run.

TVP 4th release newsletter postponed skipped care Q

🚨 An additional cause for concern: Fears were especially pronounced among

  • 🤰🏻 Mothers — 52% said they or a household member postponed or skipped care
  • 👩🏻 Hispanics — 50% said they or a household member postponed or skipped care.

TVP 4th release newsletter action center image

Status quo is unacceptable

Texas voters also made clear their belief that the state needs to move on from the status quo when it comes to addressing consolidation in the health care sector.

  • 68% of Texas voters opposed maintaining the status quo while just 18% said they favored doing nothing.

TVP 4th release curb consolidation options guideTVP 4th release no status quo Q

Frustration with the status quo is so high that 51% of Texas voters even said they backed implementing some form of government price control or rate setting.

TVP 4th release curb consolidation options guideTVP 4th release price control Q

But not all potential solutions appear popular among Texas voters. Moving toward a single-payer, government run health care system was the second least popular, beating out only doing nothing and maintaining the status quo.

TVP 4th release curb consolidation options guideTVP 4th release single payer Q

Voters favor action to address high prices caused by health care consolidation

More than 60%: the percentage of Texans who live in a highly or very highly concentrated hospital market, according to a Texas 2036 analysis of data provided by the Health Care Cost Institute.

  • 👉 Independent research from health economists has found that consolidation leads to higher prices for health care.

TVP 4th release hospital market concentration map

Texas voters told us that this trend toward consolidation in the health care sector concerns them greatly and makes them inclined to back active measures by the government to curb consolidation:

  • 53% favored enhanced government antitrust enforcement.
  • 52% favored prohibitions on hospital or insurer-owned doctor groups and pharmacies.

TVP 4th release health care consolidation fixes

📜 A smashing success from the legislative session: Texas voters also voiced strong support for a newly-passed law that empowers employers to help their employees access lower-cost care by prohibiting many of the anticompetitive practices that have driven up health care costs amid consolidation.

House Bill 711 by Rep. James Frank and Sen. Lois Kolkhorst passed earlier this year with the support of 99% of lawmakers. Texans overwhelmingly support this bill when informed of its intent, with 79% favoring and just 10% opposing.

TVP 4th release newsletter CM quote box