Press Release

9 in 10 Americans Want Dental Coverage as Part of Medicare

2 min
September 29, 2021

WASHINGTON, DC – Sept. 29, 2021 More than 9 in 10 Americans believe dental coverage should be included in Medicare and 73% of Americans believe that high prescription drug prices are impeding the Medicare program’s ability to provide dental coverage for seniors, according to a new West Health and NORC AmeriSpeak survey. Over three-quarters of Americans support tax penalties to ensure drug companies negotiate with Medicare for lower drug prices. The nationally representative sample surveyed 1,071 adults aged 18 or older in September 2021.

Only 6% of Americans trust that pharmaceutical companies have their best interest in mind and will ensure patients will be able to afford the drugs they need, whereas nearly half (48%) trust the Medicare program to make their drugs affordable.

Two-thirds of Americans do not believe the pharmaceutical industry’s argument that patients would have lower drug access if Medicare is empowered to negotiate lower drug prices. Instead, three-quarters of Americans believe that Medicare negotiation will increase drugs access and lower prices. This comes as 1 in 4 Americans did not have enough money to pay for their prescribed medications in the past 12 months.

An overwhelming majority of Americans support aggressive drug pricing reform policies to make their prescription drugs more affordable, such as requiring companies to negotiate prices with Medicare (88%), taxing drug companies that are unwilling to negotiate prices with Medicare (78%) or taxing companies that raise prices faster than inflation (82%).

Dental Survey Infographic

Pharmaceutical Survey Infographic

Survey Crosstabs

About West Health

Solely funded by philanthropists Gary and Mary West, West Health is a family of nonprofit and nonpartisan organizations including the Gary and Mary West Foundation and Gary and Mary West Health Institute in San Diego, and the Gary and Mary West Health Policy Center in Washington, D.C. West Health is dedicated to lowering healthcare costs to enable seniors to successfully age in place with access to high-quality, affordable health and support services that preserve and protect their dignity, quality of life and independence. Learn more at and follow @WestHealth.

About NORC at the University of Chicago

NORC at the University of Chicago is an independent research institution that delivers reliable data and rigorous analysis to guide critical programmatic, business, and policy decisions. Since 1941, NORC has conducted groundbreaking studies, created and applied innovative methods and tools, and advanced principles of scientific integrity and collaboration. Today, government, corporate, and nonprofit clients around the world partner with NORC to transform increasingly complex information into useful knowledge. Please visit for more information.