Costs prevent more Americans than ever from pursuing healthcare

January 30, 2023 : A record number of Americans delayed getting medical treatment in 2022 due to prohibitive expenses, with lower-salary, younger adults and women the worst impacted, according to a Gallup poll unleashed Tuesday.

Altogether, 38% of those surveyed reported that they or a family member had put off pursuing medical care because of the increased bills they would sustain. That’s the highest response in the 22 years Gallup has been following the direction.

The 12-point boost from 2021 marked the steepest year-over-year increase so far, Gallup stated in a news release. Those putting off treatment for “very” or “rather” severe conditions jumped sharply to 27%. That corresponded with 11% who had forgone therapy for diseases of less trouble, with the gap between the two groups at its most comprehensive since 2019.

Gallup’s results came as a recent study showed that Americans are finding it more difficult and harder to sustain medical care — even if they have health insurance via their employer. Researchers from New York University discovered that over the past 20 years, the number of Americans with job-based health insurance who cut off on medical care has been increasing.

The analysis published in the Journal of the American Medical Association was inconclusive on the logic behind the trend but pointed to increasing healthcare expenses and moves by insurers to push a more significant part of the payment for treatment onto customers.

President Joe Biden has been compelling for lower healthcare costs since taking post in 2021. The president has enhanced his efforts to take the scrabble to pharmaceutical companies and insurers to reduce drug prices and health insurance premiums and put an end to surprise invoices.

The Inflation Reduction Act, which aims to lock in lower healthcare premiums for millions protected through the Affordable Care Act, was passed into law by Biden in August after overwhelming unanimous opposition from Republican legislators.