Americans Cut Back On Health Care, Consumers Union Finds
Americans have cut back on health care to try to save money during the past year, a new poll by Consumers Union finds. To do so, they have stalled on doctors' visits, passed on medical tests and taken expired medication. McClatchy reports. "Despite overwhelming concern about how to pay for health care, however, there's still no clear public or political consensus on how to overhaul the system."
The Consumers Union survey of 1,002 adults found that "28 percent put off doctors' visits; 25 percent have been unable to afford medical bills or medication; 22 percent put off medical procedures; 20 percent declined medical tests; 20 percent skipped filling prescriptions; 15 percent took expired medication; 15 percent skipped scheduled dosages of prescriptions." These occurrences were "more prevalent among households with incomes of less than $50,000, in which about two-thirds said they'd cut back on health care because of costs. Even where income topped $100,000, however, about one-third made similar decisions" (Lightman, 10/7).
Meanwhile, NPR reports: "In a historic step this week, the nonprofit Consumers Union, which publishes Consumer Reports magazine, unveiled the first television advertisement in its 72-year history: a spot that encourages Congress to overhaul health care this year. The 30-second advertisement, which features Consumers Union President and Chief Executive Officer James A. Guest, puts the reputation and clout of the iconic consumer empire firmly behind fundamental change to the way Americans are insured and receive their health care" (Halloran, 10/7).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.