(AmericanProsperity.com) – Americans are skipping on their doctor visits, medications, vaccinations, annual exams, vision checks, and more. The reason: it’s too expensive. That has prompted some politicians to make a stronger case for Medicare-for-All immediately in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
According to a survey conducted in 2019 and newly released by Bankrate, 1 in 3 Americans purposely avoided medical treatments due to the cost of healthcare.
Having insurance didn’t seem matter according to the study. Families that purchased insurance policies were more likely to avoid medical care (44%) than those who were uninsured (33%). Even those with employer-based insurance skipped care due to high deductibles or copays (34%).
As the coronavirus pandemic grows across the country, the cost of medical care could become a potential obstacle to curtailing the virus. In some cases, medical care is necessary to ensure that a person is strong and healthy enough to fully recover. In other cases, hospitalization could be the difference between life and death.
Most impacted by the virus would be the 27.5 million Americans who are uninsured according to the Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey. Those without insurance are less likely to receive preventative care, care for chronic diseases, or emergency care.
Who Is Skipping Out on Healthcare?
Nearly 2 in 5 Millennials (40%) avoided medical care because of cost. That was the highest of any age group. Additionally, 35% of Generation X and 24% of baby boomers reported avoiding care.
Another contributing factor was personal income. For those who made less than $40,000 per year, they experienced a 37% decline in healthcare due to the cost. For those who made more than $80,000, 29% declined medical treatment.
Families were hit even harder — 43% of families with children younger than 18 refused treatment because of the cost.
When serious, unexpected medical issues arise, approximately 1 in 9 families said they took on significant debt to pay for medical care. And, 9% said they borrowed money from family or friends while 3% pursued debt consolidation or declared bankruptcy.
AOC Wastes Little Time
On Wednesday, Democratic Socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) wasted no time and said emergency measures were needed to fight the coronavirus. One of her solutions includes extending Medicare and Medicaid coverage to everyone.
Right about now would be a great time to weigh emergency measures like:
– Extending Medicare/Medicaid coverage to all
– Eviction freezes
– No-strings UBI programs
– Eliminating work requirements for SNAP &other assistance
– Humanitarian provisions in prisons & decarceral policies
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) March 12, 2020
According to Realclear Politics (RCP) polling, health care has been a top issue for many voters ever since mid-2019. In fact, a combined 67% of respondents said that either America’s healthcare system is broken (28%) or was not working well (39%). However, critics are skeptical of Medicare-for-All’s long-term viability, even if it were to provide temporary relief.
“Health care costs are causing injury to Americans’ personal finances, which is why they’re elevating the issue as an urgent political priority,” Bankrate’s senior economic analyst Mark Hamrick said. “The desire for change is one rare case where most are in agreement.”
It’s going to be interesting to see how the government handles the coronavirus crisis and how it changes the debate around healthcare in the United States.
~Here’s to Your Prosperity!
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