Healthcare inflation was at 4.5% when Gallup and West Health asked people across the country how they had handled higher healthcare costs over the past six months.
38%—representing an estimated 98 million people—reported doing one or more of the following: delaying or avoiding medical care or buying prescription drugs; driving less; cutting back on utilities; skipping a meal; and borrowing money.
"The percentage of people making these kinds of trade-offs was higher in lower-income households, but higher earners were not immune," Gallup and West Health highlighted.
While a majority of respondents with an annual household income below $48,000 cut back on essentials, so did nearly 20% of people with a household income above $180,000.
"Women under the age of 50 also cut back on medical care and medicine at higher rates than their male counterparts (36% to 27%, respectively) and much higher than men generally (22%)," the groups noted.
Looking ahead to the rest of 2022, 39% of those surveyed are "concerned" or "extremely concerned" about being unable to cover the cost of care.
The poll also revealed that 70% of Americans have skipped care or cut back on necessities in the past six months because of the rising prices of goods.
The Inflation Reduction Act includes some drug pricing reforms. Bernie Sanders explained it won't be enough to fix the nation's broken and unfair system.
"The prescription drug provisions in this bill are extremely weak, they are extremely complex, they take too long to go into effect, and they go nowhere near far enough to take on the greed of the pharmaceutical industry whose greed is literally killing Americans," he warned.
Sanders pointed out, "with the possible exception of insulin, this bill does nothing to lower prescription drug prices for anyone who is not on Medicare." In other words, as the senator put it: "Under this bill, at a time when the pharmaceutical companies are making outrageous profits, the pharmaceutical industry will still be allowed to charge the American people, by far, the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs."