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Shocking new survey findings: High health care costs are life-threatening

mergeIn the last five years, 34 million Americans had a friend or family member die because they couldn’t afford high health care costs for treatment.

That’s according to a new study by Gallup and West Health, a nonprofit organization working to lower health costs. The findings are based on surveys of 1,099 U.S. adults across all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Surveys indicate that people of color and those under 45 years old were more likely to have known someone who died because they could not afford health care. Nearly 23 percent of those surveyed, representing about 58 million adults, said they were unable to pay for a prescription medication at least one time in the past few months. That was up substantially from January, when 18.9 percent of those surveyed reported they could not afford the drugs prescribed by their doctors.

Not surprisingly, nearly nine in 10 U.S. adults believe prescription drugs cost more than they should. Researchers’ conclusions: “The level of medication insecurity is high and rising.”

What about you? Please take a minute to share your opinions and experience by completing our Voices of Affordable Health survey.