A recent independent public opinion survey of 1,000 Americans adults showed 48 percent believe the private sector is the best way to keep health costs down.

Forty-eight percent think the private sector, not the federal government, has the best chance of keeping health care costs down and the quality of care up, while 35 percent have more confidence in the federal government and 16 percent are not sure.

Confidence in the private sector is up five points from 43 percent three years ago, while belief in the government is essentially unchanged.

The survey also showed:

Fifty percent said they are paying more for health care now than they were a year ago, but 42 percent said they are not.

The number who reported paying more for health care is up slightly from 47 percent three years ago.

Looking ahead, 42 percent expect to be spending more on health care a year from now, while just 12 percent expect their health care costs to be lower at that time and 35 percent say the amount they spend on health care will be about the same.

In 2010, 45 percent expected to spend more on health care in the next year, while 8 percent expected to spend less.