A new Gallup poll shows health care costs are now the top financial concern for the biggest percentage of American
Seventeen percent of respondents said health care costs were their biggest financial concern facing their family today. Health care costs were a bigger concern than debt, low wages, college expenses, cost of owning a home, retirement savings, taxes, and unemployment, just to name a few.
According to the Gallup report, this spike in concern over health care costs means concern is nearly at record levels recorded a decade ago.
“The 17% who name health care costs as their family’s most pressing financial problem is up seven percentage points since 2013 and is just two points shy of the all-time high of 19% recorded in 2007.”
During the recession in 2008, concern over health care costs declined as Americans became more concerned with unemployment, lack of money, and low wages. However, in 2009 and 2010, when Congress began drafting the Affordable Care Act, concern about the cost of health care began to grow. In April of 2010, 15 percent of respondents said health care costs were their greatest financial worry.
Since that time, worry about the cost of health care declined through 2013 but started to rise again in 2014 and now have risen to this year’s 17 percent—the highest level seen since October 2007.
Gallup pollsters tie the rising concern to uncertainty over health care costs as Congress debates changes to Obamacare.
“Uncertainty surrounding the new health care bill and how it would affect costs may be one reason that more Americans cite health care as a top financial problem.”
Another theory is rising concerns about the collapsing Obamacare scheme is driving new worries about the availability of health insurance.
“Republicans in Congress, as well as President Donald Trump, may argue that rising concern about health care costs is yet another reason why the ACA should be repealed,” Gallup states. “And there are signs that the law is under severe stress and costs may be rising for some Americans, as some health insurance companies pull out of the individual exchange markets.