Poll: Concerns about drug prices and pandemic preparedness top infrastructure worries among Americans

There is broad support among Americans for letting the government negotiate prescription drug prices, according to a recent poll designed by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s Robert Blendon.

The poll asked respondents to select their top priorities among 20 policy proposals, all of which are included in President Joe Biden’s $3.5 trillion infrastructure and social spending package, according to an October 1, 2021 Politico article.

Thirty-nine percent of respondents chose direct government price negotiations with drug makers first. Other high priorities among respondents included increased federal spending for pandemic preparedness, more resources for long-term and home-based care, and expanding Medicare to include dental, vision and hearing care.

President Biden and Democratic lawmakers have touted their spending package’s focus on infrastructure and expanding high-speed internet to rural areas. But the poll found that only 23% of respondents ranked rebuilding roads and other infrastructure as extremely important and only 15% ranked expanding high-speed internet as extremely important.

“When I looked at the priorities, I was actually quite surprised because I thought infrastructure was supposed to be number one,” said Blendon, Richard L. Menschel Professor of Public Health and Professor of Health Policy and Political Analysis, Emeritus. “I think a lot of people who were interviewed here are just thinking about their own life experience.”

Read the Politico article: Drug price negotiation is Americans’ top priority in spending bills