By Suzanne Potter
This story was originally published by Public News Service.
CARSON CITY, Nev. – The rising cost of health care is a top concern for Nevadans, according to a new poll.
The survey, of 600 registered voters conducted in late July showed that three-quarters of respondents say the amount they pay goes up every year.
And 74% of Hispanic/Latinx families said they’re concerned that they’ll have to delay care because of the cost.
Pollster Dave Tollaksen, vice president of the polling firm the Mellman Group, said health-care inflation is hitting families’ pocketbooks.
“Over 7 in 10 voters say that the cost of health care is rising faster than their income,” said Tollaksen. “So not only is it going up but it’s going up faster than the kind of money that they’re bringing in. So this impacts them even more.”
The poll also found that 62% of respondents say that at some point they have struggled to pay health-care bills even though they have insurance; and 27% say they’re having difficulty paying off overdue medical bills.
Jim Manley is a former advisor to Senators Harry Reid and Edward Kennedy who now serves on the board of Consumers for Quality Healthcare, a coalition of advocates and former policymakers that commissioned the poll.
He noted that national polling shows more than 8 in 10 Americans believe that COVID-19 has exposed flaws in our current health-care system.
“Especially in the wake of the COVID pandemic,” said Manley, “voters want to make sure that their insurance is affordable and protects them. Especially if they have a pre-existing conditions.”
The poll also found that Nevadans want to see policymakers work on getting costs down without upending the system, compromising quality or limiting access to health care. In addition, they are concerned about the shortage of doctors in the Silver State.
This spring – the University of Nevada, Las Vegas graduated its first class of doctors. And, last session, lawmakers moved to establish a public option for health care starting in 2026.