A recent Gallup poll highlights the urgency in finding a solution to America’s health-care cost crisis. The share of people stating that they’re insecure about the cost of their medication is rising. In January 2019, 18.9 percent of respondents said there was a time over the previous 12 months when their household was unable to pay for medicine or prescriptions, and that increased to 22.9 percent in September 2019.
The report also found that 13 percent of U.S. adults—about 34 million people—say they know at least one friend or family member who passed away in the last five years due to their inability to pay for medical treatment. Additionally, research uncovered a noticeable racial divide with 9.6 percent of whites saying they know of such as instance, compared to 20.3 percent of nonwhites. In the household income category, 18.5 percent of people earning $40,000 or less know someone who passed away due to their inability to pay their medical expenses. Unsurprisingly, that percentage falls as income rises. There’s also a sharp political divide on the issue with 16.4 percent of Independents, and 14.8 percent of Democrats say they know someone who died under such circumstances, compared to just 4.9 percent of Republicans.
The high cost of health care puts a lot of stress on individuals and the health-care system, as they struggle to cover some of today’s most expensive procedures. Fortunately, insurance companies and government programs cover a portion of the expenses for patients. But for those without coverage, the stress is even greater.
With cost considerations for the pre-operation assessments, hospital administration, the procedure, post-operative care and follow-up appointments, medical services are not easy on the wallet. Here’s a list of the top 10 most expensive procedures.
1. Intestine Transplant $1,206,000
2. Heart-Lung Transplant $1,148,400
3. Heart Transplant $997,700
4. Bone Marrow Transplant $676,800
5. Lung Transplant (Double) $797,200
(Single Transplant) $561,200
6. Liver Transplant $577,100
7. Open Heart Surgery $324,000
8. Pancreas Transplan $289,400
9. Kidney Transplant $262,900
10. Tracheostomy $205,000
Chronic illnesses are the nation’s leading cause of death and disability and account for 90 percent of the $3.3 trillion spent annually on health care.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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