Many Americans Are Skipping Medical Care Due to Rising Costs, New Gallup Study Reveals

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The report reveals how COVID-19 has prompted growing concerns among Americans regarding the rising costs and inequities in the U.S. healthcare system.

Nearly a third of Americans have skipped seeking out medical care in the last three months due to its high cost, according to a new 2021 West Health-Gallup Healthcare in America report.

The study's findings revealed that overall, nine in 10 Americans say people are paying too much for the quality of health care they are receiving. 

Approximately 52% of adults said their most recent health care experience wasn't worth the cost, up from 43% in April. 

“If you survey consumers, people want to believe we have the best care and therefore get the best value," Tim Lash, chief strategy officer for West Health, a nonprofit focused on lowering health care costs, told CBS News.

The U.S. health care system "outperforms" on cost — Americans pay more for medical care than citizens of any other developed nation — but "by just about every other measure, like life expectancy, infant mortality, you name it, we're at the bottom," Lash said.

The study also found that 48% of Americans say their view of the U.S. healthcare system worsened due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Skipping medical treatment can have disastrous outcomes. The report revealed that nearly 13 million Americans know a friend or family member who died because they couldn't afford medical care.

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