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Survey: Texans Cutting Back On Other Expenses To Pay For Health Care

More than half of Texans who took part in a 15-state Texas Medical Center survey said they pay more out-of-pocket now than two years ago. The survey also found a “disconnect” between what consumers and lawmakers think is affordable health care.


The survey finds that Texans are paying more out-of-pocket costs for health care than they did two years ago.

As Senate Republicans make another attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act this month, the Texas Medical Center Tuesday released “The Nation’s Pulse,” a survey of doctors' and consumers' attitudes toward health insurance and perceptions of health care affordability.

In the survey of more than 450 physicians and 9,200 people from 15 states – five each from red, blue and swing states – the center found an overwhelming majority of consumers said health insurance was important to them. Basic coverage was singled out as the "most important characteristic of a health system."

Expense was the main reason cited for not having health insurance. Most people surveyed said they can afford to spend 2 percent of what they earn on health care.

“But under ACA, coverage is considered ‘affordable’ if it doesn’t exceed 8.2 percent of income,” the report says. “This suggests the public’s view of what's affordable is vastly different from lawmakers' view of affordability.”

In Texas, one of the five red states in the survey, 91 percent of consumers said having health insurance “is important to them and their family.”

More than half of Texans in the survey said they’d had to cut back on other expenses so they could pay for health care. Sixty-one percent reported paying more out-of-pocket for health care than they did two years ago. This was a higher percentage than in any other state in the survey.

Most physicians and consumers blamed drug- and device-manufacturers and insurance providers for what they see as the high cost of health care.

Just 10 percent of physicians and 19 percent of consumers said they believe President Trump is "doing a good job" when it comes to health care.