Number of Americans Resisting Medical Care Because of Costs Is Rising

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    A rising amount of Americans are delaying medical care due to the rising cost, according to a Gallup survey that was released this week.

    In the past year, more than a third of Americans, 38 percent, reported that they or a family member had delayed a medical procedure due to the out of pocket expense. This is an increase of 12 percent, 26 percent, in 2021. 

    The number has changed since Gallup began to track the data in 2001. The first year, 19 percent of respondents reported that they delayed medical treatment because of the expense of the treatment. The number grew to 33 percent between 2014 and in 2019, however, the current figure of 38 percent represents the highest percentage ever recorded in the survey.

    Perhaps the most alarming aspect is that 27 percent said that the delay in treatment was due to the condition that is considered to be extremely or even quite serious.

    Per Gallup:

    Americans were nearly twice as likely to say delay in treatment within their families was due to serious, rather than non-serious, illness in 2022. Overall, 27% of the respondents stated that it was a “very” or “somewhat” serious illness or condition and 11% stated that it could be “not very” or “not at all” serious. Since 2004, the majority of U.S. adults have said that medical treatment was needed for a serious rather than a non-serious illness, however the gap of 16 points in perception of the seriousness of forgoing treatment in 2022 was the second-largest on record. 

    Aged 18-49, those who are most likely to delay seeking medical attention for a severe or even a little serious illness is 35 percent; however, one quarter of people between 50 and 64 have reported the same. The number decreased to 13 percent for people 65 and older.

    The study was conducted from November 9 to December 2 2022. It was conducted with 1,020 people living across the United States. It has a +/-4 percent margin of error. It is released in the midst of a time when Americans are facing cost increases due to inflation.

    Although the year-round rate has slowed to 6.5 percent “it is still a very high level of inflation and far above a level consistent with the Federal Reserve's statutory mandate to achieve price stability,” Breitbart News's John Carney reported, noting that U.S. consumers are “experiencing more inflation than consumers have seen in this century”:

    “In reality, you need to go back to 1982 to discover an era when prices were rising by more than 6 percent annually. A result of this is that people will be seeking more money to offset the higher costs. The average hourly wage was up 3 percent in December, meaning that workers are trying to recover some of the losses they suffered due in a year that was characterized by high inflation. The problem is that this extra spending power can make prices rise even more and trigger the long-awaited spiral of wage inflation.”

    While this is happening, food prices continue to increase. Milk, which is a staple food item, is now up 12.5 percent, as an example.

    The Wall Street Journal-commissioned survey released in November showed that rising inflation has put pressure on the finances across all income classes.

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