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Poll: More Americans say too little spending on health

SeattlePI.com Thursday, 21 March 2019 ()
WASHINGTON (AP) — A growing majority of Americans want greater government spending on health care, and the increase is being driven by both Democrats and Republicans.

That's according to new data from the General Social Survey, a widely respected trend survey that has been measuring views of government spending since the 1970s. An analysis by The AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and General Social Survey staff reveals that Americans want to spend more money on a wide range of government functions.

About three-quarters of Americans say the government is spending too little on education, and roughly 7 in 10 say the government is spending too little on assistance to the poor and dealing with drug addiction. By comparison, nearly half of Americans say the government is spending too much on foreign aid.

The findings come as President Donald Trump's latest budget plan proposes to cut many programs that are popular with the public, including alternative energy, the safety net for the poor, and health care.

Support for more government spending on health care has been on the rise since 2014. Seven in 10 consider the government's spending on improving national health to be too low, up from 62 percent in 2016 and 56 percent in 2014. While Democrats are more likely than Republicans to say spending on health is too little, there has been a sharp increase across party lines. The poll finds 80 percent of Democrats say there is too little spending, up from 66 percent in 2014, and 59 percent of Republicans say the same, up from 42 percent four years ago.

The government is on track this year to borrow more than 20 cents for every dollar it spends, running a deficit in the $1 trillion range. Few lawmakers have displayed much real appetite for cutting spending and the survey data seems to help explain why.

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