Memo: The Public Supports A Public Option For Drugs

By John Ray, YouGov Blue and Sean McElwee, Data for Progress

Executive Summary

  • Voters are overwhelmingly supportive of allowing the government to negotiate lower drug prices, with 84 percent of US voters supporting this policy and only 5 percent opposing it.

  • Ninety-one percent of Democrats, 81 percent of independents, and 77 percent of Republicans support allowing Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices. Opposition was nearly nonexistent, with only 3 percent of Democrats, 5 percent of independents, and 7 percent of Republicans actively opposing the policy.

  • Voters randomly assigned to read a message about a policy allowing competition from generic pharmaceuticals were more likely to support that policy when the message centered patients’ ability to pay rather than international price comparisons.

  • Even with Republican arguments against generic competition, majorities of Democrats and independents supported generic competition—as do just under half of Republicans.