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On Health Policies, U.S. Lags Other Nations: Survey
Date:11/18/2010

lists.
  • Only 58 percent of U.S. patients -- the lowest rate of the survey -- were confident they could afford the care they needed. Patients in the United Kingdom, Switzerland and the Netherlands were the most confident they could afford needed care.
  • "The findings in other countries indicate that it is possible to design insurance benefits and protection, even when cost sharing is included in the insurance design, in a way that values access and assures financial protection, and simplifies experiences with insurance," Cathy Schoen, senior vice president at the Commonwealth Fund, said during the press conference.

    Kim Bailey, senior health policy analyst at Families USA, said: "The findings of the Commonwealth Fund's analysis highlight the dire situation that many American families face when it comes to the affordability of care, and the need for the improvements in the quality and availability of coverage that the Affordable Care Act will bring. By comparing the U.S. experience across a range of access and cost-related measures to the experiences of health care consumers in other countries, the magnitude of the problem within our system becomes clear. American families are clearly in need of a helping hand, and the Affordable Care Act will make great strides toward improving access to care while reducing out-of-pocket costs."

    Republicans have vowed to scale back the controversial health reform law when the new Congress is seated in January, but it's not clear how much impact they may have.

    More information

    For more information on health care in America, visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

    SOURCES: Nov. 17, 2010, teleconference with Karen Davis, president, Cathy Schoen, senior vice president, The Commonwealth Fund; Nov. 18, 2010, Health Affairs, online; Kim Bailey, Senior Health Poli
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