98 million people skipped treatment or cut spending to pay for care this year

As inflation hit a 40-year high this year, nearly 100 million Americans have skipped care or reduced their needs to cover the rising cost of medical treatment in a country notorious for its low-cost system. profit, according to the results of a poll published this week.

Inflation hit 9.1% in June – and healthcare inflation was 4.5% – when Gallup and West Health asked people across the country how they had handled rising healthcare costs over the past six months.

As the groups revealed on Thursday, 38% – representing about 98 million people – said they had done one or more of the following: delaying or avoiding medical care or buying prescription drugs; drive less; reduce public services; to skip a meal; and borrow money.

“The percentage of people making these kinds of trade-offs was higher in lower-income households, but higher-income people were not immune,” Gallup and West Health pointed out.

While a majority of respondents with an annual household income of less than $48,000 have reduced spending on basic necessities, the same is true for almost 20% of those with a household income of more than $180,000 .

“Women under 50 also reduce medical care and medication at higher rates than their male counterparts (36% to 27%, respectively) and much higher than men overall (22%),” they said. noted the groups.

Looking to the rest of 2022, 39% of respondents are “concerned” or “extremely concerned” about not being able to cover the cost of care.

West Health President Timothy A. Lash pointed out that “people have been compromising to pay for health care for years. Inflation has only made matters worse as people are also grappling with the high price of gas, food and electricity.

“The percentage of people making these kinds of trade-offs was higher in lower-income households, but higher-income people were not immune,” Gallup and West Health pointed out.

While a majority of respondents with an annual household income of less than $48,000 have reduced spending on basic necessities, the same is true for almost 20% of those with a household income of more than $180,000 .

“Women under 50 also reduce medical care and medication at higher rates than their male counterparts (36% to 27%, respectively) and much higher than men overall (22%),” they said. noted the groups.

Looking to the rest of 2022, 39% of respondents are “concerned” or “extremely concerned” about not being able to cover the cost of care.

West Health President Timothy A. Lash pointed out that “people have been compromising to pay for health care for years. Inflation has only made matters worse as people are also grappling with the high price of gas, food and electricity.

“The prescription drug provisions in this bill are extremely weak, they are extremely complex, they take too long to come into force and they do not go far enough to tackle the greed of the pharmaceutical industry. whose greed is literally killing Americans,” he warned.

Medicare may finally negotiate with Big Pharma, but the list of drugs is limited and the new prices won’t go into effect for years. Moreover, as Sanders pointed out, “with the possible exception of insulin, this bill does nothing to lower prescription drug prices for anyone who does not have Medicare. .

In other words, as the senator said, “Under this bill, at a time when pharmaceutical companies are making outrageous profits, the pharmaceutical industry will still be allowed to bill the American people, by far , the world’s highest prices for prescription drugs.”

Sanders has been a longtime supporter of not only fighting Big Pharma price hikes in Congress, but also overhauling the nation’s entire healthcare system by implementing Medicare for All.

“Securing health care as a right is important to the American people, not just morally and financially,” Sanders said when introducing a Medicare for All bill in May. “It’s also what the majority of the American people want.”

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