clearn.png
Friday December 2nd, 2022 12:25AM

Americans give health care system failing mark: AP-NORC poll

By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — When Emmanuel Obeng-Dankwa is worried about making rent on his New York City apartment, he sometimes holds off on filling his blood pressure medication.

“If there’s no money, I prefer to skip the medication to being homeless,” said Obeng-Dankwa, a 58-year-old security guard.

He is among a majority of adults in the U.S. who say that health care is not handled well in the country, according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

The poll reveals that public satisfaction with the U.S. health care system is remarkably low, with fewer than half of Americans saying it is generally handled well. Only 12% say it is handled extremely or very well. Americans have similar views about health care for older adults.

Overall, the public gives even lower marks for how prescription drug costs, the quality of care at nursing homes and mental health care are being handled, with just 6% or less saying those health services are done very well in the country.

“Navigating the American health care system is exceedingly frustrating,” said A. Mark Fendrick, the director of the University of Michigan Center for Value-Based Insurance Design. “The COVID pandemic has only made it worse.”

More than two years after the pandemic's start, health care worker burnout and staffing shortages are plaguing hospitals around the country. And Americans are still having trouble getting in-person medical care after health centers introduced restrictions as COVID-19 killed and sickened millions of people around the country, Fendrick said.

In fact, the poll shows an overwhelming majority of Americans, nearly 8 in 10, say they are at least moderately concerned about getting access to quality health care when they need it.

Black and Hispanic adults in particular are resoundingly worried about health care access, with nearly 6 in 10 saying they are very or extremely concerned about getting good care. Fewer than half of white adults, 44%, expressed the same level of worry.

Racial disparities have long troubled America's health care system. They have been abundantly clear during the COVID-19 pandemic, with Black and Hispanic people dying disproportionately from the virus. Black and Hispanic men also make up a disproportionately high rate of recent monkeypox infections.

Fifty-three percent of women said they are extremely or very concerned about obtaining quality care, compared to 42% of men.

While Americans are united in their dissatisfaction with the health care system, that agreement dissolves when it comes to solutions to fix it.

About two-thirds of adults think it is the federal government’s responsibility to make sure all Americans have health care coverage, with adults ages 18 to 49 more likely than those over 50 to hold that view. The percentage of people who believe health care coverage is a government responsibility has risen in recent years, ticking up from 57% in 2019 and 62% in 2017.

Still, there’s not consensus on how that coverage might be delivered.

About 4 in 10 Americans say they support a single-payer health care system that would require Americans to get their health insurance from a government plan. More, 58%, say they favor a government health insurance plan that anyone can purchase.

There also is broad support for policies that would help Americans pay for the costs of long-term care, including a government-administered insurance plan similar to Medicare, the federal government’s health insurance for people 65 or older.

Retired nurse Pennie Wright, of Camden, Tennessee, doesn’t like the idea of a government-run health care system.

After switching to Medicare this year, she was surprised to walk out of her annual well-woman visit, once fully covered by her private insurance plan, with $200 worth of charges for a mammogram and a pap smear.

She prefers the flexibility she had on her private insurance plan.

“I feel like we have the best health care system in the world, we have a choice of where we want to go,” Wright said.

A majority of Americans, roughly two-thirds, were happy to see the government step in to provide free COVID-19 testing, vaccines and treatment. Roughly 2 in 10 were neutral about the government’s response.

The government’s funding for free COVID-19 tests dried up at the beginning of the month. And while the White House says the latest batch of recommended COVID-19 boosters will be free to anyone who wants one, it doesn't have money on hand to buy any future rounds of booster shots for every American.

Eighty percent say they support the federal government negotiating for lower drug prices. President Joe Biden this summer signed a landmark bill into law allowing Medicare to negotiate the price of prescription drugs. The move is expected to save taxpayers as much as $100 billion over the next decade.

“Medication costs should be low, to the minimum so that everyone can afford it,” said Obeng-Dankwa, the Bronx renter who has trouble paying for his medication. “Those who are poor should be able to get all the necessary health they need, in the same way someone who also has the money to pay for it.”

___

AP polling reporter Hannah Fingerhut in Washington contributed to this report.

___

The poll of 1,505 adults was conducted July 28-Aug. 1 using a sample drawn from NORC’s probability-based AmeriSpeak Panel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population. The margin of sampling error for all respondents is plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.

___

Follow AP's coverage of health care costs at https://apnews.com/hub/health-care-costs.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Health, AP Business, AP Business - Industries, AP Business - Health Care
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Asian shares rise on back of Wall Street rally
Shares are higher in Asia after last week's strong close on Wall Street, the first weekly gain in four weeks
11:57PM ( 32 minutes ago )
Brady, Bucs throttle Cowboys 19-3 as Prescott injures hand
Tom Brady and Mike Evans connected on a punctuating touchdown, Leonard Fournette ran for 127 yards and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers dominated the Dallas Cowboys 19-3
11:32PM ( 57 minutes ago )
Harry Styles hits Toronto for 'My Policeman' premiere
With just as much fanfare but a tad less drama, Harry Styles took the Toronto International Film Festival by storm on Sunday, premiering the tragic gay romance “My Policeman” less than a week after the debut of “Don’t Worry Darling” in Venice
10:48PM ( 1 hour ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Swedish conservatives close to election win amid crime fears
Near final results in Sweden’s election show that a bloc of right-wing parties prevailed against a left-wing grouping headed by Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson
8:09PM ( 4 hours ago )
Swedish conservatives seem to win election amid crime fears
Near final results in Sweden’s election show that a bloc of right-wing parties prevailed against a left-wing grouping headed by Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson
7:53PM ( 4 hours ago )
Russia hits power stations after Ukraine counteroffensive
Russia attacked power stations and other infrastructure, causing widespread outages across Ukraine as Kyiv’s forces pressed a swift counteroffensive that has driven Moscow’s troops out of swaths of territory it had occupied in the northeast
5:54PM ( 6 hours ago )
AP Business
Last reactor at Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant stopped
Ukraine’s atomic power operator says the last reactor at Europe’s largest nuclear power plant has been shut down after the plant was reconnected to the electricity grid
12:43PM ( 11 hours ago )
As small businesses raise prices, some customers push back
Inflation isn’t only costing small businesses money
12:06PM ( 12 hours ago )
EXPLAINER: Ukraine's threatened nuclear plant shuts down
The last operating reactor at Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant has been shut down to reduce the threat of a radiation disaster amid the continuing fighting
6:59AM ( 17 hours ago )
AP Business - Industries
Regulators try to stop unlawful nursing home debt collection
A federal report says nursing homes and debt collectors are flouting a law that prohibits them from requiring friends and family of care home residents to be responsible for costs of the facilities
5:21PM ( 3 days ago )
Feds try to stop unlawful nursing home debt collections
A federal report says nursing homes and debt collectors are flouting a law that prohibits them from requiring friends and family of care home residents to be responsible for costs of the facilities
9:49AM ( 3 days ago )
FDA panel backs much-debated ALS drug in rare, 2nd review
A panel of federal health advisers has voted to recommend approval for an experimental drug to treat Lou Gehrig’s disease
7:23PM ( 4 days ago )
AP Business - Health Care
Asian shares rise on back of Wall Street rally
Shares are higher in Asia after last week's strong close on Wall Street, the first weekly gain in four weeks
11:57PM ( 32 minutes ago )
Brady, Bucs throttle Cowboys 19-3 as Prescott injures hand
Tom Brady and Mike Evans connected on a punctuating touchdown, Leonard Fournette ran for 127 yards and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers dominated the Dallas Cowboys 19-3
11:52PM ( 38 minutes ago )
Harry Styles hits Toronto for 'My Policeman' premiere
With just as much fanfare but a tad less drama, Harry Styles took the Toronto International Film Festival by storm on Sunday, premiering the tragic gay romance “My Policeman” less than a week after the debut of “Don’t Worry Darling” in Venice
10:48PM ( 1 hour ago )
Dodgers 1st team to clinch a playoff spot, rout Padres 11-2
Justin Turner hit a grand slam and a solo homer for the Los Angeles Dodgers, who emphatically became the first team to clinch a playoff spot this season with an 11-2 victory over the San Diego Padres
9:40PM ( 2 hours ago )
Carlos Alcaraz wins US Open for 1st Slam title, top ranking
Carlos Alcaraz has defeated Casper Ruud 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (1), 6-3 in the U.S. Open final to earn his first Grand Slam title at age 19 and become the youngest man to move up to No. 1 in the rankings
9:36PM ( 2 hours ago )