A new public opinion survey suggests that many Americans are dissatisfied with the nation’s health care system.
The Associated Press and the NORC research group at the University of Chicago released the results of their joint investigation on Monday.
Less than half of the people asked for their opinion on US health care said they were satisfied with the system. Twelve percent said it works extremely well.
AP-NORC researchers surveyed 1,505 Americans.
Most expressed concerns primarily about mental health care, the cost of medication, and the quality of care old people’s homes. Only six percent of respondents said the U.S. does a good job of providing such health services.
A. Mark Fendrick runs a research center at the University of Michigan that looks at the cost of health care. He said the American system is extraordinary frustrating and that the COVID-19 crisis had worsened the situation.
More than two years after the global health crisis began to affect US hospitals, healthcare workers are hard to find and those still working are suffering from what is known as burnout. It means that they are tired from working so much.
Many hospitals and clinics still have restrictions for COVID-19, and some Americans say they are having trouble getting good in-person care as a result.
Emmanuel Obeng-Dankwa of New York City was among those questioned in the study. He has high blood pressure, a condition that requires medication. But cost is sometimes an issue for Obeng-Dankwa, especially when his housing allowance is due.
“If there is no money, I prefer to overcome drugs to be homeless,” he said.
The new study shows that about 80 percent of people are at least a little worried about getting good care when they need it.
Fifty-three percent of women said they are extremely or very concerned about receiving quality care, compared to 42 percent of men.
Nearly 60 percent of black and Hispanic adults said they were worried about getting good care.
White men expressed the most confidence in US health care of all those studied.
racial inequalities have long troubled America’s health care system. They have resurfaced during COVID-19, with black and Hispanic people dying from the virus at a higher rate than whites.
While many Americans seem to agree that there are problems with health care, very few agree on the solutions.
However, compared to previous years, about two-thirds of Americans believe that government involvement can help. Some Americans want a fully public health insurance system. Others want a mix of public and private health care.
Retired nurse Pennie Wright, of Camden, Tennessee was among those questioned by AP-NORC. She doesn’t like the idea of a government-run health care system.
It was transferred to that system, known as Medicare, this year. She said she was surprised by how much she had to pay for her annual doctor’s visit. The amount includes $200 for routine testing. Most of these costs were covered by her previous private health care plan.
“I feel like we have the best health care system in the world, we have a choice where we want to go,” Wright said.
Others would like the government to do more. For example, they would like to see the government help pay the costs of helping people who need long-term care.
They would also like the government to come up with a plan that would lower the cost of medicine for everyone.
This small change would help, says New Yorker Obeng-Dankwa. Maybe he wouldn’t have to choose between paying for his house and paying for his blood pressure medication.
“The cost of treatment should be low, … so that everyone can outstay that”, he said. He added: “those who are poor should be able to get all the necessary health care they need…”
I’m Dan Friedell.
Dan Friedell adapted this story for VOA to learn English based on a report from the Associated Press.
The words in this story
overcome – v. to not do something that is expected
prefer – v. you like something better than something else
Nursing home – n. a place where the sick or those who cannot care for themselves go to live and be cared for
INEQUALITY – n. an obvious difference between the two things
frustrating – adjective. feeling angry or unhappy about something
outstay – v. to be able to pay for something
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