Poll: Nearly One-Third of Americans Delaying Medical Care

Poll: Nearly One-Third of Americans Delaying Medical Care Poll: Nearly One-Third of Americans Delaying Medical Care (Dreamstime)

By Jeffrey Rodack | Thursday, 16 December 2021 09:35 AM

Thirty percent of Americans postponed needed medical care in the last three months due to costs, according to a new survey by West Health and Gallup.

The number is the highest since the pandemic hit.

Here are how the survey results break down, according to the poll:

  • 48% say their view of the U.S. healthcare system has worsened since the pandemic, compared to 7% who say it is better. 40% say the pandemic has not changed their view of the healthcare system.
  • 60% say they are now "more concerned" that some Americans have unequal access to quality healthcare services as a result of the pandemic, while 6% say the pandemic has made them "less concerned." 34% say they have the same level of concern as they did prior to the pandemic.
  • 45% say the government is doing a worse job at controlling the cost of healthcare compared to the years immediately before the pandemic. 4% say the government is doing a better job, while 48% say it is doing about the same.
  • 21% say they or a member of their household had a health problem become worse after delaying care because of the costs.
  • 66% say they believe voters have very little or no power to reduce the cost of healthcare in the U.S.

"Americans have reached their breaking point," said Shelley Lyford, president and CEO of West Health, a family of nonprofit, nonpartisan organizations trying to lower healthcare costs. "Between March and October, the percentage of people reporting trouble paying for healthcare, skipping treatments and not filling their prescriptions spiked to their highest levels since the pandemic began, exacerbating another public health threat borne out of cost rather than illness."

The poll, conducted Sept. 27-30 and Oct. 18-21., surveyed 6,663 people. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.5 percentage points for response percentages around 50%.