Strategies To Lower Drug Costs Top the Public’s Health Priorities for Congress

Towards the backdrop of public concern about inflation and rising fuel costs, proposals to decrease what folks pay out-of-pocket for medicine tops the general public’s record of well being care priorities for Congress, a new KFF Health Tracking Poll finds.

Most (55%) of the general public say inflation is the most important drawback dealing with the nation. Fewer cite different points such because the Russian invasion of Ukraine (18%), local weather change (6%), the COVID-19 pandemic (6%), and crime (6%).

The financial system, together with inflation, additionally ranks as the highest voting difficulty as folks start to consider this 12 months’s midterm elections.

Partly reflecting these considerations about inflation and costs, the general public’s “high well being care priorities for Congress” concentrate on decreasing what folks pay for his or her well being care. These embody limiting worth will increase for prescribed drugs to the inflation fee (61% say it’s a high precedence), capping out-of-pocket prices for insulin (53%), and putting a restrict on how a lot seniors should pay for well being care (52%). Practically half (48%) say that permitting the federal authorities to barter decrease drug costs for Medicare beneficiaries is a high precedence.

Lower than half rank different points as high well being priorities, reminiscent of increasing protection to folks with low incomes in states that haven’t expanded their Medicaid packages (42%), rising funding for psychological well being providers (42%), and enhancing security and high quality in nursing houses (40%). Fewer rank extra spending for COVID-19 (25%) and making everlasting the monetary assist for folks shopping for market well being protection that was included in COVID-19 aid regulation (22%) as high priorities.

“The general public’s priorities in well being replicate deep concern concerning the costs of every little thing proper now, together with drug costs,” KFF President and CEO Drew Altman stated. “That doesn’t imply different issues which have lengthy been fashionable wouldn’t have public assist too; they do. It simply means costs are the preeminent concern.”

The ballot additionally finds different indicators of how closely inflation and well being prices are weighing on Individuals, with many of the public saying they’re apprehensive about with the ability to afford gasoline or different transportation prices (71%), sudden medical payments (58%), or month-to-month utility payments (50%). The shares apprehensive about paying for fuel and utilities are up considerably since February 2020.

With many individuals apprehensive about affording sudden medical payments, the ballot additionally finds most (56%) folks with non-public insurance coverage say they know nothing in any respect a few federal regulation that took impact in January that protects folks from receiving unexpectedly massive medical payments after they unknowingly obtain out-of-network care. Fewer say they know “loads” (3%), “some” (18%) or “a bit of” (22%) concerning the regulation.

The ballot additionally finds:

  • Half (51%) say they’ve delayed or gone with out well being care up to now 12 months attributable to prices. This consists of a few third who skipped dental care (35%), and 1 / 4 who skipped imaginative and prescient care (25%) and physician’s visits (24%). Some additionally skipped psychological well being care (18%), hospital providers (14%), and listening to providers, together with listening to aids (10%).
  • With drug costs a serious a part of President Biden’s agenda, 29% of adults, together with 43% of these with annual family incomes underneath of $40,000, say they both didn’t fill a prescription, minimize tablets in half or skipped doses, or took an over-the-counter product as an alternative of a prescription attributable to value up to now 12 months.

Because the Inexpensive Care Act Turns 12, Most Individuals Proceed to View the Legislation Favorably

Twelve years after its enactment, most (55%) of the general public views the Inexpensive Care Act favorably. A couple of quarter (24%) of individuals say that the regulation has helped them, whereas 1 in 5 (20%) say that has damage them. The commonest manner that individuals say that they had been helped is by offering protection to somebody of their household, whereas the most typical manner folks say they had been damage is by rising prices.

There are main partisan variations. Most Democrats (87%) view the regulation favorably, and lots of (43%) say it immediately helped them and their households. In distinction, most Republicans (79%) view the regulation unfavorably, and lots of (40%) say it has damage them and their households. Independents principally view the regulation favorably (58%), with 1 / 4 (24%) saying the regulation has helped them and 16% saying it has damage them.

Different findings embody:

  • President Biden mentioned enhancing take care of residents of nursing houses and different long-term care amenities in his State of the Union tackle. Many of the public says that they’re doing a “dangerous job” of sustaining enough staffing (70%), providing inexpensive care (64%), and offering high-quality care (54%). Views of long-term care amenities are constant throughout age teams.
  • About two thirds (65%) of individuals residing within the 12 states that haven’t expanded their Medicaid packages underneath the ACA to cowl extra low-income uninsured folks say that their state ought to, whereas one third (34%) say their state shouldn’t.

Designed and analyzed by public opinion researchers at KFF, the KFF Well being Monitoring Ballot was carried out from March 15-22 amongst a nationally consultant pattern of 1,243 adults. Interviews had been carried out in English and Spanish on-line (974) and by phone (269). The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 4 proportion factors for the total pattern. For outcomes based mostly on subgroups, the margin of sampling error could also be greater.

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