Inflation Has Many Americans Cutting Back on Health Care, Poll Finds

By Dennis Thompson

August 8, 2022

Inflation is putting Americans’ health at risk, with nearly 2 in 5 struggling to pay for the care they need, according to a new West Health-Gallup poll.

About 38% — which translates to an estimated 98 million Americans — said rising health care prices had caused them to skip treatments, delay buying prescription drugs or pay for their care by borrowing money or cutting back on driving, utilities or food in the past six months.

The poll was conducted online in June, the same month inflation reached a 40-year high of 9.1%, pollsters noted. In June, health care inflation hit 4.5%.

“We’ve known for decades that health care has been a financial pain for people, and that people have had to make trade-offs,” said Timothy Lash, president of West Health, a nonprofit health care advocacy group. “When you layer inflation on top of that, it’s like putting gasoline on a fire.”