41% of Americans had problems getting a good paying job or raise in pay in the economic downturn in the U.S. 1 in 3 lost money in the stock market, had work hours cut or a pay cut. And, 31% had problems paying for gas and health care. 85% of uninsured people under 65 put off needed health care because of cost.
In the past 12 months, families in the U.S. have faced multiple challenges with jobs, health, gas and food — challenges all bound up in the economic downturn in the U.S.
1 in 4 Americans report problems paying medical bills. 54% of Americans did something to self-ration health care due to cost in the past year, according to the December 2010 Kaiser Health Tracking Poll published in December 2010 by the Kaiser Family Foundation. The various health behaviors making up this statistic are organized in the chart. These include relying on home remedies and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs instead of going to see a doctor, which 37% of people in the U.S. did; skipping dental care or checkups, among 36% of Americans; postponing getting needed health care, done by which 1 in 3 Americans.
1 in 4 Americans didn’t fill a prescription for a medicine due to cost. 1 in 4 skipped a recommended medical test or treatment due to cost.
KFF conducted this poll in December 2010 among 1,207 American adults age 18 and over via landline and cell phone.
Health Populi’s Hot Points: At the JPMorgan annual health care conference held in San Diego last week, industry analysts convened to assess the state of health care in the current economic climate. Mike Weinstein of JPMorgan said, “People are assuming the first quarter [of 2011] will be worse than the fourth quarter [of 2010].” Tim Nelson of FAF Advisors told the group that, “right now we’re seeing hospital visits down and prescriptions down so there’s no reason to believe things will improve from here in the near-term.”
Credit Suisse and PwC (formerly Pricewaterhouse Coopers) concur that health care utilization will be slow-growing in 2011, explained in American Medical News. Credit Suisse wrote in their health sector analyst report in December 2010 that even if employment levels picked up in 2011, spending on health care would not increase for two more years.
As some policymakers seek to repeal the Affordable Care Act — originally preceded by the words “Patient Protection and” — they should be mindful of the current economic state of personal households and how necessary health care consumption gets postponed when money is tight and copays are high.