Tuesday, August 17, 2010

US consumers cut back on health care

Given the economic times, it isn't really a surprise, but this new report showing the reduced use of routine medical care is not a good trend.
Among Americans responding to the survey, they said, 26.5 percent reported reducing their use of routine medical care since the start of the global economic crisis in 2007.

This proportion dwarfs the comparable numbers for other countries: 5.3 percent in Canada, 7.6 percent in Britain, 10.3 percent in Germany and 12 percent in France.
The reductions correlate with the size of the of the out of pocket costs, which occur even in countries with universal coverage. The good news is, "Several provisions of the new health care law, signed by President Obama in March, could counter the trend described in the report." The bad news is that will take years to happen.

The long term impact on the development of serious illnesses won't be known for years either but even for those who have good health insurance plans, this is still worrisome. When medical providers start losing this kind of money, costs will go up for everyone to cover the shortfalls in their budgets. Vicious cycle.


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