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Kaiser Health Security Watch

The Kaiser Health Security Watch uses Kaiser Health Tracking Poll data to measure the public’s health care-related problems and worries, including problems paying medical bills, skipping or delaying health care due to cost, and worrying about their future ability to pay for care and keep insurance. The Health Security Watch describes the overall numbers, and examines which types of people are most likely to report these problems and worries.

The May 2012 update to the Health Security Watch finds that delaying health care to avoid cost is common. While economic challenges facing the country continue and the Supreme Court is deciding the fate of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), May’s Health Tracking Poll finds that the problems and concerns related to health care costs and access are wide-spread. A quarter report they have had problems paying medical bills in the past year and six in ten say they have cut corners to avoid health care costs. The survey also finds that health care can be a point of stress as many Americans report being worried about losing their health insurance or not being able to afford needed care. Health care-related problems and worries are particularly intense among the uninsured, those with lower incomes, and those in poor health. For more, read the full May 2012 Health Security Watch Update.