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Rising health care costs keep millions from getting needed care

Written by Diane Archer

Congress is finally focused on the cost of prescription drugs, which is great, but it needs to address overall health care costs as soon as possible. Rising health care costs keep millions of Americans from getting needed care. The simplest and most cost-effective way to address rising costs is for Congress to improve Medicare and expand it to everyone, Medicare for All.

A recent national poll from Monmouth University finds that almost half of all Americans struggle to pay their health care costs. More than four in ten Americans (46%) say that their health care costs are up a lot or some since 2017. More than one in four (27 percent) say that they or a family member skipped needed care because of the cost. Kaiser Family Foundation reported the same horrific findings 18 months ago.

The Monmouth poll also finds that many people feel locked into their jobs in order to ensure they have health insurance even when they would like to move on. Essentially half of the people surveyed (49 percent) reported that they would be hard-pressed to give up their current job insurance for another job unless that job offered good insurance as well. In fact, one in five said that they would not switch jobs or launch a new business because they needed to keep their current coverage.

Not even half of people (48 percent) say they find it easy to pay for their out-of-pocket health care costs. That is particularly shocking because most people are relatively healthy and should have low out-of-pocket costs. And, forty-five percent of people say they struggle to pay out-of-pocket costs.

Of course, people with lower incomes struggle most. They are at greater risk of having to forego needed health care in order to pay for other basic necessities. More than one in three of people with incomes under $50,000 (34 percent) say they go without needed medical care.

Congress needs to put an end to health insurance that rations care based on ability to pay. Medicare for All would do away with premiums, deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs to ensure access to care for all.

Here’s more from Just Care:


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