Report: 51 Million American Adults Can’t Fill Prescriptions Due to Costs

by NEE

Poll: 20 Percent of Americans Didn’t Fill Prescriptions Over Last 6 Months to Save Money

According to new data from Rasmussen, 20 percent of American adults “continue to pass on medical checkups and prescription drugs to save money”.  This works out to 51 million Americans, and does not include children who may be foregoing medical treatment.
The data comes from a poll conducted by Pulse Opinion Research between January 24 and 25.  Pulse surveyed 1,000 American adults by telephone, and found that 20 percent of them had “not filed a prescription in the last six months because the cost was too high”.  The pollster’s sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 90 percent confidence level.
For context: this figure is largely unchanged from a year ago, but is down from a high of 40 percent in 2010.  This figure is troubling, because failing to complete a course of antibiotics leads to increased bacterial resistance—it’s the number one way to breed superbugs.
 
The figure is also consistent with other polling data.  For example, Gallup found that 29 percent of Americans have put off medical treatment during the last year, or know someone in their household who has done so.  This figure has remained fairly consistent over the last decade, according to Gallup’s research:

This shows, among other things, that President Obama’s Affordable Care Act has done little to make healthcare more affordable.  In fact, there is good evidence pointing in the other direction.  For example, the average cost of a family plan under Obamacare is $19,000 a year—far out of reach for many people.
And it’s only getting worse: insurers anticipate double-digit premium increasesin a majority of America’s large cities for 2018.  This is bad news for America’s poor.
There’s a healthcare crisis in America, and Obamacare’s not solving it.  It’s time we explored other options, and stopped falling for the sunken cost fallacy—we need to cut our losses and move on.  Frankly, expanding Medicaid to all Americans would likely be cheaper than administering the behemoth that is Obamacare.

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