For years, the question hasn’t been whether the American healthcare system is a mess (spoiler: it is). Rather, it’s been the extent to which the system is broken. The ease with which COVID-19 was able to ravage the U.S. population served as yet another damning data point.

Less certain is the degree of confidence that Americans have in the healthcare system’s operational underpinnings — whether, in effect, the system has their back. To get a late-pandemic snapshot, the Associated Press/NORC Center for Public Affairs Research polled 1,505 adults aged 18 or older on a range of topics, including their support for Medicare negotiations on drug prices and their belief in the country’s preparedness for a future public health emergency.

The results, not surprisingly, don’t teem with optimism. At the same time, there’s an openness to change, especially among younger people. Perhaps resistance to fixing some of what’s broken isn’t as entrenched as previously thought.

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