Poll: 1 in 4 Americans say cost led to skipping medical care

Poll: 1 in 4 Americans say cost led to skipping medical care
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More than 1 in 4 Americans say they or a family member went without needed health care in the past two years because they felt they could not afford it, according to a new poll.

The survey from Monmouth University released Monday finds that 27 percent of adults say they or a member of their household have avoided necessary medical care in the past two years because of cost. That figure is down slightly from 2017, when 31 percent said they had skipped care.

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In addition, 45 percent of the public says it is difficult to pay their deductibles and other out-of-pocket health care expenses.

Relieving the burden of health care costs has been a major driver of the debate over "Medicare for All," with proponents saying that generous government-run insurance is needed to make health care affordable for more people, while opponents argue there are other, more market-based ways to bring down health costs while building on the current system.

Sens. Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderTaylor Swift thanks Cory Booker for signing Equality Act petition Taylor Swift thanks Cory Booker for signing Equality Act petition Senate health panel to move forward on package to lower health costs next week MORE (R-Tenn.) and Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn Murray It's time to let Medicare to negotiate drug prices Ocasio-Cortez shares verse by the 'Congressional Destiny's Child' in promotion of new birth control legislation Ocasio-Cortez shares verse by the 'Congressional Destiny's Child' in promotion of new birth control legislation MORE (D-Wash.) are currently working on a bipartisan package aimed at lowering health care costs, including protecting patients from surprise medical bills that they get when a doctor is outside their insurance network.

The poll finds that 20 percent of adults say they have thought about getting a new job or starting a business in the past 10 years but did not pursue it because of the need to maintain their health coverage.

Proponents of Medicare for All say that reducing this “job lock,” or the need to stay in a job to keep the employer-provided health insurance, is a benefit of government-run insurance. Opponents say people often like their employer-sponsored coverage and do not want to be forced to give it up.