Americans’ Views on the U.S. Role in Global Health
The Kaiser Family Foundation has tracked public opinion on global health issues in-depth since 2009. This most recent survey examines views on U.S. spending on health in developing countries and perceptions of barriers and challenges to making progress on the issue. Two-thirds of Americans (65 percent) overall and majorities of Democrats, independents and Republicans alike, say that the United States should play at least a major role in world affairs, including roughly one in five overall (18 percent) who say the U.S. should take the leading role. The survey also finds a general skepticism on the part of the American people when it comes to the effectiveness of global health spending, with seven in ten saying the “bang for the buck” of U.S. spending in this area is only fair or poor, and more than half believing that spending more on global health efforts won’t lead to meaningful progress (a share that has grown since 2012). Although many Americans have concerns about the value of global health spending, six in ten say the U.S. spends too little (26 percent) or about the right amount (34 percent) on global health, and three in ten say it spends too much. Most also recognize benefits to such spending, both for Americans at home as well as for people and communities in developing countries.