Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Dear Common Dreams Readers:
Corporations and billionaires have their own media. Shouldn't we? When you “follow the money” that funds our independent journalism, it all leads back to this: people like you. Our supporters are what allows us to produce journalism in the public interest that is beholden only to people, our planet, and the common good. Please support our Mid-Year Campaign so that we always have a newsroom for the people that is funded by the people. Thank you for your support. --Jon Queally, managing editor

Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Without your help, we won’t survive.

A new report shows that Americans under the current healthcare system are delaying care.

A new report shows that Americans under the current healthcare system are delaying care. (Photo: Jim Watson/Getty Images)

Setting Gallup Record, Quarter of Americans Say They or Family Member Delayed Medical Care Over Cost in Last Year

"This is the 'choice based' system Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg want to preserve."

Eoin Higgins

One-in-four Americans admits they or a member of their family this past year has delayed medical treatment of a serious illness due to costs, according to a new Gallup survey published Monday.

The number is the highest ever recorded by Gallup on the question. 

"Another 8% said they or a family member put off treatment for a less serious condition, bringing the total percentage of households delaying care due to costs to 33%, tying the high from 2014," the report said.

Delayed care can have serious ramifications on health, well being—and even the economy, according to the report. 

And it could be a political issue lurking in the background of the 2020 general election:

While most of the increase Gallup sees in delayed treatment occurred over a decade ago, the sharp increase in the past year, particularly among Democrats, suggests that healthcare costs could be a more potent political issue than previously seen. Presidential candidates who acknowledge the problem and propose solutions to address it may find a receptive ear among voters.

The report highlights the dire condition of the U.S. healthcare system at a time when Democratic candidates for the party's 2020 presidential nomination are debating whether or not to institute Medicare for All, the policy advocated for by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), one of the frontrunners in the party's primary.

South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg and former Vice President Joe Biden have resisted a universal system—a position that The District Sentinel's Sam Knight noted on Twitter in response to the new Gallup data.

"This is the 'choice based' system Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg want to preserve," said Knight. 

Knight added that claims from centrist Democrats that all that's needed is to build on the Affordable Care Act, also known as "Obamacare," are empty. 

"When people say we need to fix Obamacare instead of gunning for single payer, please note that Obamacare did nothing to stop people from delaying treatment for cost based reasons," said Knight. "It did force you to pay monthly premiums to for-profit companies denying you care though!"

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

"I'm sure this will be all over the corporate media, right?"
That’s what one longtime Common Dreams reader said yesterday after the newsroom reported on new research showing how corporate price gouging surged to a nearly 70-year high in 2021. While major broadcasters, newspapers, and other outlets continue to carry water for their corporate advertisers when they report on issues like inflation, economic inequality, and the climate emergency, our independence empowers us to provide you stories and perspectives that powerful interests don’t want you to have. But this independence is only possible because of support from readers like you. You make the difference. If our support dries up, so will we. Our crucial Mid-Year Campaign is now underway and we are in emergency mode to make sure we raise the necessary funds so that every day we can bring you the stories that corporate, for-profit outlets ignore and neglect. Please, if you can, support Common Dreams today.


Scores Feared Dead and Wounded as Russian Missiles Hit Ukraine Shopping Center

"People just burned alive," said Ukraine's interior minister, while the head of the Poltava region stated that "it is too early to talk about the final number of the killed."

Brett Wilkins ·

Biodiversity Risks Could Persist for Decades After Global Temperature Peak

One study co-author said the findings "should act as a wake-up call that delaying emissions cuts will mean a temperature overshoot that comes at an astronomical cost to nature and humans that unproven negative emission technologies cannot simply reverse."

Jessica Corbett ·

Amnesty Report Demands Biden Take Action to End Death Penalty

"The world is waiting for the USA to do what almost 100 countries have achieved during this past half-century—total abolition of the death penalty," said the group.

Julia Conley ·

Pointing to 'Recently Obtained Evidence,' Jan. 6 Panel Calls Surprise Tuesday Hearing

The announcement came less than a week after the House panel delayed new hearings until next month, citing a "deluge" of fresh evidence.

Common Dreams staff ·

Looming US Supreme Court Climate Decision Could 'Doom' Hope for Livable Future

"The immediate issue is the limits of the EPA's ability to regulate greenhouse gases," said one scientist. "The broader issue is the ability of federal agencies to regulate anything at all."

Jessica Corbett ·

Common Dreams Logo