Biggest worry for 25% of Americans is paying for health care, poll finds

Supporters of the Affordable Care Act who are also opponents of Colorado's GOP-led plan to undo Colorado's state-run insurance exchange gather for a rally organized by the national Save My Care Bus Tour

Supporters of the Affordable Care Act who are also opponents of Colorado's GOP-led plan to undo Colorado's state-run insurance exchange gather for a rally organized by the national Save My Care Bus Tour

Paying for health care is the primary concern of U.S. families, according to results of a new poll.

A quarter of Americans surveyed said they worry most about health care costs, said Patrick Murray, director of Monmouth University Polling Institute.

“That’s a big jump from the last time we asked —  just a couple of years ago — when health care was one of a number of issues in the top tier,” Murray said Tuesday. “It seems like concerns about paying for costs of health care right now are the things that are really driving the worries that Americans have that keep them up at night.”

Fourteen percent of those surveyed said they’re most concerned with Job security and unemployment, while 12 percent said they are anxious about paying everyday household bills.

“Half of Americans, 51 percent, say that their current situation is stable, but 29 percent say that they’re struggling just to remain where they are,” Murray said. “Twenty percent say that their financial circumstances are improving.

“So we do see more people falling behind than say that they’re getting ahead right now.”

Meanwhile, immigration, national security, and climate change are near the bottom of the list of Americans’ concerns.

“If you watching what’s happening in Washington right now, you would think that issues like immigration were the top concern,” Murray said. “We’re finding that only a couple percent name that as something that really bothers them and worries their families.”

About 40 percent of Americans said they expect the federal government will help them deal with their family’s situation over the next few years; 33 percent fear Washington’s actions will hurt them.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.