Poor economy means more Americans have trouble paying medical bills

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: (Published 26 August 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a1430
  1. Janice Hopkins Tanne
  1. 1New York

    Three surveys show that the worsening economy in the United States is resulting in more people lacking health insurance, cutting back on drugs and visits to doctors, or having trouble paying medical bills.

    The Commonwealth Fund, a non-profit organisation that works to improve US health care, used data from its 2001, 2003, 2005, and 2007 surveys to examine the status of healthcare insurance of US adults aged under 65 years and its implications for family finances and access to care.

    Its study found that in 2007 fewer people than previously had health insurance and that 79 million people—72 million under the age of 65 and seven million older people—had problems …

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