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Most Americans Worry About Accessing Health Care, Poll Finds

Some 80% of Americans worry about how they will access good health care, according to a new Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll, which found the vast majority of Americans are dissatisfied with the system in the U.S., one of the only developed nations that doesn’t offer universal health insurance.

Forbes


KEY FACTS

  • Only 12% of Americans believe U.S. health care is handled extremely or very well, according to the poll, which surveyed 1,505 adults from July 28 to August 1.

  • People of color were more likely than white people to be concerned about accessing good care, with 60% of Black and Hispanic adults concerned about access, compared to 44% of white adults.

  • Some two-thirds of Americans believe it is up to the federal government to ensure people have health care, up from roughly 57% in 2019, according to the survey.

  • But only 40% of Americans say they want a single-payer health care system that would mandate Americans get health insurance from the government; more (58%) would prefer a government health care plan that would be available for anyone to buy, according to the poll.

SURPRISING FACT

Americans gave an even worse review of how the U.S. handles prescription drug costs, mental health care and nursing homes: Only 6% or fewer said they were very satisfied with those services, the poll found.


BIG NUMBER

31.6 million. That’s how many people didn’t have insurance in 2020, during the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, or nearly 10% of all Americans, according to a survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


KEY BACKGROUND

The U.S. ranks the lowest among the wealthiest nations for its healthcare system, primarily due to lack of affordability, despite spending the largest percentage of its gross domestic product (19% in 2020) on health services, according to reports. It is one of the only wealthy nations lacking universal health care coverage, with the average American spending about $12,500 per person on health care costs in 2020. The Affordable Care Act, signed by former President Barack Obama in 2010, marked one of the biggest advancements in health care affordability in decades, extending health coverage to millions of uninsured Americans. Democratic lawmakers this year have also aimed to tackle rising health costs by passing the Inflation Reduction Act, signed into law by President Joe Biden in June. The law allows Medicare to negotiate with drug manufacturers to reduce the price of 100 medications and extends health insurance subsidies under the Affordable Care Act. Some 80% of Americans support the federal government negotiating to cut drug prices, according to the AP-NORC poll. The legislation also includes a $2,000 cap on out-of-pocket prescription drug costs for Medicare patients and a $35 monthly cap on insulin for Medicare recipients starting next year.


FURTHER READING

Americans give health care system failing mark: AP-NORC poll (Associated Press)

Biden Signs Sweeping Climate And Health Care Package, Marking Major Victory (Forbes)

Doctor Wait Times Average Almost Four Weeks In Big Cities (Forbes)





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