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Majority Of People In US Seek Essential Changes In Health Care System

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"Rather than thinking more care is better care, patients are quite perceptive about wasteful care," said Commonwealth Fund Senior Vice President Cathy Schoen, lead author of the report on the survey findings, Public Views on Shaping the Future of the U.S. Health Care System. One in four U.S. adults reported that their physician had recommended unnecessary care or treatment, and one in six reported their physician ordered tests that had already been done.

Paying for and Receiving Health Care Is Increasingly a Middle Class Problem About half (48%) of adults in middle-income families ($35,000 to $50,000 annual income) reported serious problems paying for health care and health insurance. In fact, health care costs are now stretching budgets even for those with higher incomes. One-third of adults with family incomes between $50,000 and $75,000 a year, and one-fifth with incomes over $75,000 report serious medical bill problems.

"The increasing difficulties Americans are facing paying for health care and health insurance are cause for concern," said Dallas Salisbury, President and CEO of the Employee Benefit Research Institute, and a Commission member. "As economic stresses related to health care rise up the income ladder we are undermining the economic security of the workforce. In addition to less affordable medical care, families will no longer be able to save as much for retirement. Rising costs also put financial stress on employers based in the United States."

A Large Majority Says Major Changes Are Needed to System Three quarters (76%) of all adults said the health care system needed either fundamental change or complete rebuilding. Just 20% said only minor changes are needed in the health care system. These views were shared across income groups and regions of the country. Majorities of both Republicans and Democrats saw a need for fundamental changes in or complete rebuilding of th
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