KFF survey: Most Americans see addressing out-of-pocket costs as priority

Most Americans remain concerned about out-of-pocket costs and the quality of long-term care, according to a new Kaiser Family Foundation poll.

Many are concerned about being able to afford basic living expenses, long-term care services, deductibles, premium or prescription drug costs. Half of adults have skipped care due to costs in the past year. Dental services were the most put off, followed by vision and general care. Many in low-income households have also skipped out on prescriptions or doses. 

The poll found most of the public, regardless of partisanship, wants lawmakers to limit how much drug companies can increase the price of prescription drugs to not surpass inflation. Capping out-of-pocket costs for insulin and general costs for seniors were also listed as top priorities for most.

The top priority most disagreed upon between Republicans and Democrats was whether to provide more funding to continue the COVID-19 pandemic response, with most Democrats and less than half of Republicans agreeing.

Half of the public says President Joe Biden and Democrats are to blame if Congress cannot pass prescription drug legislation, with most being Republicans or independents. Most Democrats, meanwhile, believe Republicans in Congress would be to blame.

The majority of the public, regardless of partisanship, continues to see the Affordable Care Act favorably, the poll found. However, Republicans are more likely to say the legislation has hurt them, primarily by increasing their costs, whereas Democrats are more likely to say it has helped, primarily by facilitating coverage. 

At least half of those privately insured do not know about the No Surprises Act, which takes effect this year and is meant to protect them from receiving unexpected large medical bills in cases of accidental out-of-network care. 

When it comes to long-term care facilities, nearly half of adults are concerned about being able to afford them. Most adults agree that these types of facilities, like nursing homes, are doing a poor job at maintaining proper staffing levels, offering affordable care and providing high-quality care. Those with a direct connection to long-term care were more likely to have these negative views.