Healthcare Hard to Pay For

Dr. Andrew Carroll, a pediatrician at the University of Indiana, posted on a small health-care blog called the "Incremental Economist" about a Health Affairs study into the cost of care. Dr. Carroll's post was picked up by the New York Times website. The study quantified the percentage of adults who find cost a barrier to accessing health-care in eleven wealthy countries. It looked at high-income individuals, whose income was above average for their country, as well as low-income individuals, whose income was below average. The bottom-line take-away from the study was that poor Americans have a more difficult time paying for health-care than the poor in other countries; no surprise there. More surprisingly, individuals who earn more than the average income in the United States also have substantially more difficulty paying their bills than wealthier individuals in other countries. In fact wealthy Americans face a greater cost barrier to coverage than the poor in seven of the ten other countries in the study.

The study notes that the recently passed health-care reform law in the United States has the potential to make health-care more accessible, but that it's still too soon to know.

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