Arizonans Say Congress Needs to Do More to Rein In Health Costs
Wednesday, August 3, 2022
Congress is considering a major legislative package that could affect not only investments in climate change but also the affordability of health care. Health-care advocates say it comes not a moment too soon.
One study found that from 1970 to 2020, the average American's health-care costs rose from $1,875 a year to more than $12,500.
Jim Manley, a board member of Consumers for Quality Care, said the main concern is that out-of-pocket costs are too high, according to the group's new poll. He says Arizonans agree they're getting squeezed by health-care costs.
"High deductibles, rising out-of-pocket costs and unpaid medical bills are plaguing American health-care consumers," he said, "with 75% of Arizona voters agreeing that the costs of health care are going up more than other things that they need."
The poll, by Impact Research, found that three out of four American voters believe insurance companies are "nickel-and-diming" their household budgets with out-of-pocket costs.
The U.S. Senate could vote on the package, known as the Inflation Reduction Act, by the end of the week.
Last week, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., agreed on a bill that allows Medicare to negotiate some drug prices and caps out-of-pocket prescription-drug costs.
Tammy Caputi, a City Council member in Scottsdale, said medical debt is forcing many Arizonans, including her constituents, to cut spending on food and other essentials. She said some even lose their homes or are driven into bankruptcy.
"The general consensus," she said, "is that Congress should cap insurance deductibles, the prescription drug copays and all those other out-of-pocket maximums, to a point that people don't need to skip their care and go into medical debt."
Since no Republicans plan to vote for the bill, Senate Democrats say they'll pass it under the budget reconciliation process but must have all 50 members of their caucus and the vice president vote yes to do so. Passage could hinge on Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., who has yet to reveal how she plans to vote.
get more stories like this via email
This fall, additional free classes will be offered in Minnesota for people thinking about a career as a certified nursing assistant. It follows an …
Health and Wellness
Legislation signed into law this month by Gov. Charlie Baker is expected to bring updates long overdue to mental-health services in Massachusetts…
The Maine Department of Transportation is "going green," with plans to install solar arrays on three state-owned properties in Augusta. The …
Organizers behind a new Indigenous school in western South Dakota hope they can give young Native American students a more optimal learning environmen…
Numerous community advocates are calling on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to build a long-proposed subway station at 10th Avenue and 41st …
Relief may be on the way for many older Nevadans who need hearing aids but can't afford to pay $3,000 to $5,000 for a pair. The Food and Drug …
Workers in Michigan won major victories recently as a minimum-wage increase and employer paid sick time program were reinstated by court order…
Small-business owners and entrepreneurs in a handful of towns across the state have resources at their fingertips to help renovate and reuse historic …