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Health care survey: Americans, lawmakers focus on cost concerns

Written on May 2, 2024

Survey research shows that paying for high or unexpected medical bills is among Americans’ most pressing financial worries, and their top priorities include reducing what they must pay out-of-pocket and getting politicians to understand their concerns.  

Half of US adults said in a KFF poll that they had trouble affording health care bills, and a quarter said they had a family member grappling with the issue. Ripple effects include delaying and avoiding needed care, which can snowball into serious untreated medical problems. 

Even those with health insurance may not be immune to medical cost woes. Nearly half of the surveyed adults with insurance were concerned about affording monthly premiums, and many with employer-sponsored and ACA marketplace coverage expressed dissatisfaction with their out-of-pocket costs.  

Survey results also showed that health care debt disproportionately affects Hispanic and Black adults, women, people with children, lower-income individuals and those without insurance. 

The Biden administration is convening a federal task force aimed at lessening the burden of health care costs. The Strike Force on Unfair and Illegal Pricing includes representatives from the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission. 

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