News & Politics

FACT CHECK: More People Delaying Health Care Over Costs Now Than Pre-Obamacare

(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

A common myth being presented during the Amy Coney Barrett hearings is the notion that many Americans who couldn’t afford healthcare before the Affordable Care Act was passed and implemented suddenly could.

Unfortunately for the Democrats, the data suggests otherwise. According to a Gallup survey from December 2019, 33 percent of Americans say they or a family member put off treatment for a health condition because of the costs.

This number has remained virtually unchanged since Obamacare was passed. In fact, the number has averaged about 30 percent since 2006, which is significantly higher than it was back in 2001, when only 19 percent of Americans said they or a family member put off treatment for a health condition because of the cost.

Worse yet, Obamacare hasn’t improved the situation for those with pre-existing conditions. “Reports of delaying care for a serious condition due to costs are also up 13 points compared with last year among Americans who report they or another household member has a ‘pre-existing condition,'” Gallup reported. “At the same time, there has been virtually no change in the percentage of adults without pre-existing conditions in the household who delayed care for a serious health issue in the past year, currently 12% versus 11% in 2018.”

Gallup does urge some caution with regard to the four-point jump in those reporting delaying care over the previous survey. “Most of the recent increase in reports that family members are delaying treatment for serious conditions has occurred among self-identified Democrats,” explains Gallup. “This is up 12 points since 2018 among Democrats, compared with three- and five-point increases among Republicans and independents, respectively.”

The partisan gap in the responses to these questions is the largest in two decades. The reason for this, Gallup can’t say for sure. But seeing as Gallup reported there’s been no major change in health coverage, the sharp spike of self-identifying Democrats reporting delaying healthcare over costs is likely done for partisan reasons, as the survey occurred in the heat of a Democratic presidential primary.

But one thing that is clear: fewer people were delaying medical care over costs back in 2001, and Obamacare has done nothing to reduce the number of people delaying health care over costs. Nothing at all.

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Matt Margolis is the author of the new book Airborne: How The Liberal Media Weaponized The Coronavirus Against Donald Trumpand the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis