Amer­i­cans’ Top Fi­nan­cial Worry Is The Cost of Health Care

Health care costs were more of a worry than debt, col­lege ex­penses, unem­ploy­ment, taxes

The Jewish Voice - - NATIONAL - By: Ali Meyer

The top fi­nan­cial worry fac­ing Amer­i­cans to­day is the cost of health care, ac­cord­ing to a poll from Gallup. Seven­teen per­cent of re­spon­dents said health care costs were their big­gest fi­nan­cial con­cern fac­ing their fam­ily to­day. Health care costs were a big­ger con­cern than debt, low wages, col­lege ex­penses, cost of own­ing a home, re­tire­ment sav­ings, taxes, and unem­ploy­ment, just to name a few.

"As the U.S. Se­nate be­gins con­sid­er­ing leg­is­la­tion that could sig­nif­i­cantly change the na­tion's health care sys­tem, the cost of health care leads the list of what Amer­i­cans consider the most im­por­tant fi­nan­cial prob­lem fac­ing their fam­ily," Gallup states.

"The 17% who name health care costs as their fam­ily's most press­ing fi­nan­cial prob­lem is up seven per­cent­age points since 2013 and is just two points shy of the all-time high of 19% recorded in 2007."

Dur­ing the re­ces­sion in 2008, con­cern over health care costs de­clined as Amer­i­cans be­came more con­cerned with unem­ploy­ment, lack of money, and low wages. How­ever, in 2009 and 2010, when Congress be­gan draft­ing the Af­ford­able Care Act, con­cern about the cost of health care be­gan to grow. In April of 2010, 15 per­cent of re­spon­dents said health care costs were their great­est fi­nan­cial worry.

Since that time, worry about the cost of health care de­clined through 2013 but started to rise again in 2014 and now have risen to this year's 17 per­cent—the high­est level seen since Oc­to­ber 2007.

"Ris­ing con­cern about health care costs comes at a time when Congress is work­ing to de­velop a leg­isla­tive plan to re­peal ma­jor parts of the ACA, if not the en­tire leg­is­la­tion," Gallup ex­plains. "Un­cer­tainty sur­round­ing the new health care bill and how it would af­fect costs may be one rea­son that more Amer­i­cans cite health care as a top fi­nan­cial prob­lem."

In ad­di­tion to ris­ing con­cern about health care costs, other fi­nan­cial con­cerns fac­ing Amer­i­can fam­i­lies have de­clined. For ex­am­ple, only 10 per­cent of Amer­i­cans were con­cerned about low wages, which is the low­est rate seen since be­fore the fi­nan­cial cri­sis.

"Repub­li­cans in Congress, as well as Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, may ar­gue that ris­ing con­cern about health care costs is yet an­other rea­son why the ACA should be re­pealed," Gallup states. "And there are signs that the law is un­der se­vere stress and costs may be ris­ing for some Amer­i­cans, as some health in­sur­ance com­pa­nies pull out of the in­di­vid­ual ex­change mar­kets. How­ever, it is pos­si­ble that news about the po­ten­tial re­peal of the ACA may it­self be caus­ing con­cern about health care costs to spike, as was the case in 2010, when Congress passed the bill af­ter a long de­bate."

The top fi­nan­cial worry fac­ing Amer­i­cans to­day is the cost of health care, ac­cord­ing to a poll from Gallup.

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