More than half of Massachusetts adults who participated in a May survey said they’d experienced some sort of health care cost hardship in the past year and almost three-quarters said they’re worried about their ability to afford care in the future.
The advocacy organization Health Care for All presented findings from the survey of about 1,150 Bay Staters aged 18 and older, which was conducted by Altarum Healthcare Value Hub, on Monday, using the figures to call for lawmakers to pass bills addressing health care and prescription drug costs. Dr. Ronald Dunlap, past president of the Massachusetts Medical Society, and Juan Cofield, each voiced support for legislation (H 729, S 771) focusing on drug costs and price transparency.
“For the physician community, the high and continually rising cost of prescription drugs undermines our ability to provide the best clinical care possible and directly impacts the health of our patients,” Dunlap said.” The disproportionate impact drug affordability has on communities of color and the related exacerbation of disparate health outcomes is unconscionable.”
Sen. John Keenan and Rep. Christine Barber also touted their bill (H 1247, S 782), dubbed the More Affordable Care Act, which proposes reforms to the state’s health insurance rate review process and would eliminate co-pays for certain treatments for chronic conditions. Altarum’s Amanda Hunt said the survey results show Massachusetts residents “are generally dissatisfied” with the health system, and that they “view government as the key stakeholder that needs to act to address health system problems.”