New survey shows U.S. falls short of other countries in health care affordability for adults

Commonwealth Survey HC graphicA recent study by the Commonwealth Fund looked at the access and affordability of health care for adults in 11 countries, including the United States.

The results don’t speak well for us here in the USA when stacked up against other developed nations.  The survey found that adults in the U.S. were more likely than peers in other countries to not seek care because of cost and struggle to pay medical bills.

These findings include:

  • 37 percent of U.S. adults did not see a doctor when they got sick, did not get recommended care, or did not fill a prescription because of cost.  This is compared to just 4 percent of adults in the United Kingdom and 6 percent in Sweden.
  • 23 percent of U.S. adults had serious problems paying medical bills or were unable to pay them, compared to 13 percent of adults in France and 6 percent or less in the U.K., Sweden, and Norway.
  • 41 percent of U.S. adults spent at least $1,000 out-of-pocket for medical care in the last year.  That was the highest of any country surveyed.

The growing cost of health care in the United States means more and more people were unable to seek the care they need to be healthy parents, productive employees, and the biggest asset to their families and communities.  This is why the Affordable Care Act was passed, to fix a broken system that left people unable to afford the health care they needed or facing dire financial circumstances to pay for care.

Appleseed, along with many other Nebraska organizations, continues to work for the best implementation of the ACA in Nebraska.  With more affordable health care coverage options, included an expanded Medicaid program, more people in our state will be able to get the health care they need and less people will go into debt or be forced into bankruptcy because of medical bills.

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