High Costs Force Third of Americans to Skip Needed Health Care

Ninety-five percent of those surveyed said they were concerned about being able to afford health insurance in the coming years. Sixty-one percent with employer-based health insurance said their costs had gotten worse in the last few years.

One critic of the survey, Mike Tuffin, executive vice president of America's Health Insurance Plans, a health insurance company lobbying group, said the findings were at odds with other research that showed private health insurance is affordable and provides good access to care.

"There is a lot of data that suggests that those who do have private health-care coverage are very satisfied," said Tuffin. One survey found that "87 percent of respondents with private insurance said their health-care coverage gives access to good medical care at an affordable cost," he said.

But Cathy Schoen, executive vice president of The Commonwealth Fund, said she thinks the survey represents the real concerns that many Americans have with their health care.

"This survey is very consistent with what we see in general population surveys -- in particular the rising concerns with access and costs among the insured," Schoen said. "We are also seeing a lack of confidence in the U.S. health-care system overall."

More information

For more on health care in America, visit the The Commonwealth Fund.

SOURCES: March 25, 2008, teleconference with John Sweeney, president AFL-CIO; Cathy Schoen, executive vice president, The Commonwealth Fund, New York City; Mike Tuffin, executive vice president, America's Health Insurance Plans, Washington, D.C.; 2008 Health Care for America Survey

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