Very sobering news about health care for adults in the US from a survey of eleven countries by the Commonwealth Fund. As reported in today’s Science Daily,
…adults in the United States are far more likely than those in 10 other industrialized nations to go without health care because of costs, have trouble paying medical bills, encounter high medical bills even when insured, and have disputes with their insurers or discover insurance wouldn’t pay as they expected.
Survey participants included 19,700 adults from Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States.
In particular, the survey found that people in the US have the highest number of negative experiences getting medical health via health insurance. One third (33%) of U.S. adults ‘went without recommended care, did not see a doctor when sick, or failed to fill prescriptions because of costs,’ compared to as few as 5 percent to 6 percent in the Netherlands and the U.K..
And, in the democratic US, the healthcare you get is very much related to your income:
Although the uninsured were at highest risk for skipping needed care, working-age U.S. adults with below-average incomes who were insured all year were significantly more likely than those with above-average incomes to go without needed care because of costs and have serious problems paying medical bills — nearly half (46%) went without needed care and one third had one bill problem, double the rates reported by above-average income insured adults.
Significant income gaps among people in the US also affected experiences with primary care access, getting care after hours, and specialists.
These results more than underscore the need for the Affordable Health Care Act; for the need for all Americans to have access to health care, protection from medical debt, and health insurance policies and procedures that are straightforward and simple to understand.
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