Gallup: Costs are number one healthcare issue for Americans

The biggest concern regarding healthcare among Americans these days is how to pay for it.

That's the conclusion of the most recent Gallup Poll on healthcare delivery. And that concern is present despite a significant expansion of coverage for Americans in recent years as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

According to Gallup, 22 percent of respondents cited cost as the most important facet of accessing healthcare delivery. That compares to 19 percent of respondents from last year's poll.

"While far fewer Americans lack insurance today than in 2013, one in five Americans still name access to healthcare or cost as the most urgent health problem," a statement issued by Gallup said, noting that "it has found no significant changes in mentions of cost and access since the ACA was passed in 2010." 

Healthcare costs have become a pressing concern for many Americans, with a large majority recently calling for price controls for hospitals, physician services and drugs. That's been driven in part by dramatically higher costs for drugs, and bills for cancer care for even insured patients that can reach the six figures.

Meanwhile, other issues have also placed upward pressure on costs, including the recent narrowing of risk corridors for health plans that offer products on the state insurance exchanges, as well as recent underwriting losses by some insurers. That could cause annual cost increases to return to the double digits in the foreseeable future. 

Access to care was also a significant issue among poll respondents, with 20 percent saying it is a top concern. That's up from 18 percent in 2014 and 16 percent in 2013.

To learn more:
- read the Gallup Poll data (.pdf)
- check out the Gallup Poll statement

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