Escalating healthcare costs are putting millions of Americans in the position of having to choose between paying for care or essentials like new clothing and over-the-counter drugs. The result, according to a new study, is that nearly one-fifth of Americans have had to decline medical treatments due to the high price tag.
The study’s findings paint a bleak picture of the impact rising healthcare costs can have. Here are the highlights:
- 35 percent of people in households with an annual income below $24,000 admitted to forgoing health care over the last year months due to the costs.
- 18 percent of people reported that a member of their home went without care over the last year because they couldn’t afford it.
- Nearly 20 percent said they would not have the financial flexibility to afford healthcare if they needed it today.
- 26 percent said they had less money to spend on clothing, 12 percent had less for groceries, and 11 percent had less for over-the-counter drugs—all because healthcare costs have skyrocketed.
We’ve known for a long time that healthcare costs are too expensive, and the primary cause is what’s being billed for healthcare services.
Making healthcare more affordable requires driving down the price tag for what big hospital groups and providers are charging.
For the millions of Americans choosing between care and daily essentials, fixing the healthcare cost problem can’t wait.