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The Dismal State of US Health Insurance

September 29, 2022

Summary: The 2022 Commonwealth survey of US health insurance tells a dismal story. 43% of adults 19-64 are inadequately insured; 46% report skipping care for financial reasons; and 42% have medical bill problems or debt. Our cobbled-together, profit-driven insurance approach is failing spectacularly and horrendously in its primary mission: providing access to care.

The State of U.S. Health Insurance in 2022 (Findings from the Commonwealth Fund Biennial Health Insurance Survey)
The Commonwealth Fund
September 19, 2022
By Sara R. Collins et al


* Forty-three percent of working-age adults were inadequately insured in 2022.

* Twenty-nine percent of people with employer coverage and 44 percent of those with coverage purchased through the individual market and marketplaces were underinsured.

* Forty-six percent of respondents said they had skipped or delayed care because of the cost, and 42 percent said they had problems paying medical bills or were paying off medical debt.

* Half (49%) said they would be unable to pay for an unexpected $1,000 medical bill within 30 days, including 68 percent of adults with low income, 69 percent of Black adults, and 63 percent of Latinx/Hispanic adults.

* Sixty-eight percent of Democrats, 55 percent of Independents, and 46 percent of Republicans said President Biden and Congress should make health care costs a top priority in the coming year.

Comment by: Don McCanne & Jim Kahn

We are all too familiar with these statistics demonstrating the inadequacy of our health care coverage in the United States – in spite of having the policy expertise and ample wealth to cover everyone. Indeed, doing so would save us money, by slashing the insane and insanely costly complexity.

Comprehensive health care reform is commonly dismissed because we lack the political support for it. But the survey finds that two-thirds of Democrats, and almost one-half of Republicans, want President Biden and Congress to make health care costs a top priority in the coming year!

With all of our other problems, that kind of support constitutes a mandate! Let’s get on with it!

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