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Sick in America? Cost and care are serious problems, poll indicates

logos for NPR and RWJFIn a recent poll by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), National Public Radio (NPR), and Harvard School of Public Health, most Americans who have experiences a serious injury or illness in the past 12 months are very concerned about the cost and quality of healthcare.

In addition to surveying everyday Americans, this poll “examined sick Americans’ experiences with and perceptions of the costs and quality of medical care over the last year. ‘Sick Americans’ (27% of adults surveyed) are defined as those who said they had a serious illness, medical condition, injury, or disability requiring a lot of medical care or who had been hospitalized overnight in the past 12 months.”  Of the 1,508 adults randomly surveyed, nearly three-quarters consider healthcare costs to be a “very serious problem,” and about half consider the quality of healthcare a serious problem as well.

Of those polled who fell into the “sick Americans” category, one in six could not get the medical care they needed for the following reasons:

  • Could not afford medical care: 52%
  • Insurance would not cover: 24%

We have the most expensive healthcare, per capita, in the world, yet not everyone can get the care they need when they need it. Just what is it we are paying for, then?

Have you been hospitalized or had a serious illness, medical condition, injury, or disability requiring a lot of medical care in the last 12 months? If so, could you afford the care you needed? If not, why not? Tell us!

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