Polling Commissioned by Community Catalyst Action Fund Finds Overwhelming Support for Action to Expand Dental Care, Protect People from Medical Debt and Hold Non-Profit Hospitals Accountable to their Tax Breaks

BOSTON, MA – Recently, Community Catalyst Action Fund commissioned research with HIT Strategies, the leading millennial and minority-owned public opinion research firm, which reinforced the dramatic power and resonance of pushing for policies that draw the connection between health care affordability and people’s overall health and economic well-being. As HIT’s research demonstrates, these policies have strong bipartisan support and especially resonate with Black voters, Latino voters, and LGBTQ+ voters — demonstrating the vast potential to build power with those voters and communities to enact change that benefits all. 

  • You can see a memo from HIT Strategies on the polling.
  • You can see the full deck from HIT Strategies on the polling.

The poll found voters want policymakers across both aisles in Washington to take bolder action to make health care more affordable and equitable. The poll found overwhelming support for policymakers to take action to expand dental care, protect people from medical debt and hold non-profit hospitals accountable for their tax breaks. Among the results:

  • There is overwhelming support for greater action from the government on dental care, medical debt, and non-profit hospital accountability. The most popular policies were: making dental care part of what health insurance plans must cover (83% total support, 62% strongly support) and removing all medical debt from credit scores (75% support, 57% strongly support). The prohibition of billing and collection practices by hospitals that can lead to home foreclosures and bank account seizures (Extraordinary Collection Actions) was also highly supported (71% support, 45% strongly support).
  • Policymakers and the Biden administration can gain support among voters nationally by backing these policies and incorporating them into the Bidenomics policy agenda. A strong majority of voters (69%) say that they would be more likely to support a policymaker who supports all of these policies as a package.Additionally, half (52%) of voters said they would feel more favorable towards the Bidenomics package if these policies were added to it. 
  • Voters think making health care more affordable should be a high priority for the Biden administration. Voters almost unanimously agree that making health care more affordable should be a priority for the Biden administration (90% priority, of which 55% high priority). 

“There is a clear desire by voters for bolder action on health care to build a system that is more affordable and equitable,” said Mona Shah, Senior Director of Policy and Strategy, Community Catalyst Action Fund. “It is also clear that they want additional action from the Biden administration to address the growing medical debt crisis, unattainable and unaffordable dental care and reign in non-profit hospitals acting like for-profit businesses helping drive the medical debt crisis. At Community Catalyst Action Fund we will continue to advocate for these policies with the administration and on the Hill. Fifteen years after the passage of the Affordable Care Act, it is clear there is still much work to be done to make health care more accessible and affordable while creating more protections for people seeking care.”

“Voters nationally want to see action on health care affordability as a central piece of the economic policy agenda. With the increased concern over cost of living, these health care policies are easy wins for policymakers given the extraordinary bipartisan voter support,” said Ashley Aylward, Senior Researcher at HIT Strategies. “We don’t often see such universal agreement for policies and have those trends remain so consistent among party identification and demographic subgroups. It’s clear that healthcare is a top priority across the board.”

The poll consisted of 1,000 registered voters nationally, with oversamples of Black, Latino/a, AAPI and young (aged 18-39) registered voters, conducted via online panel. 

The findings back up the broader, longtime work of Community Catalyst in advocating, with partners at the local, state and national level, for executive and legislative action to protect people from medical debt by expanding Essential Health Benefits to provide more comprehensive care, including dental; keeping medical debt off of credit reports; holding nonprofit hospitals accountable to their tax breaks; and more.


About Community Catalyst Action Fund:The mission of the Community Catalyst Action Fund is to build the power of people to create a health system rooted in race equity and health justice and a society where health is a right for all. We strengthen the health justice and advocacy movement to achieve community-led political and policy wins that put people over profit.