A new study of 100,000 households made by Reuters repeats much of what we've already heard about health care -- it's an increasing problem for many Americans, especially in economic hard times.
Americans are struggling to pay for healthcare in the ongoing economic recession, with a quarter saying they have had trouble in the past 12 months, according to a survey released on Monday. ... 17.4 percent of households reported postponing or delaying healthcare over the past year ... Americans pay more per capita for healthcare than people in any other country, yet have high rates of infant mortality, diabetes, untreated heart disease and other conditions. Americans are often dissatisfied with their access to care ... 40 percent of all households planned to postpone care in the coming three months.
Those statistics are infuriating, but familiar. What's perhaps the most interesting part of the study is that there is one group of Americans more satisfied with their care than any other.
People born before 1946 were the least likely to delay care, probably because most can take part in Medicare, the federal health insurance plan for the elderly, the researchers found.
The next age cohort down -- baby boomers -- were four times as likely to have trouble paying for care, and were the most likely to put off getting needed care. The equation revealed by this study matches what we've seen time and again.
Public option available = Americans get the health care they need.
Public option not available = Americans have much more trouble paying for health care, put off needed treatment and visits, and end up incurring more serious conditions.
No viable public option = No health reform.
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