Growing number of Wisconsinites say health care is not affordable

59% of people surveyed said they'd had at least one financial burden related to health care in the past year.
Posted at 9:51 AM, Jan 30, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-30 10:51:32-05

MILWAUKEE — A new survey, polling 1,196 Wisconsinites, on the affordability of health care shows a majority label the cost of care as a burden.

59% of people surveyed said they'd had at least one financial burden related to health care in the past year. 39% reported that they'd drained savings, were contacted by a collection agency, went without necessities like food, took out a loan or maxed out a credit card to pay a health care bill.

More than half of the respondents, 52%, said there were times they delayed getting medical care or skipped it all together — because of cost.

Citizen Action of Wisconsin is a nonprofit and a leading proponent for comprehensive healthcare reform in the state.

The issues surrounding health care value and affordability are reflected in national polling. For the first time in two decades, recent Gallup data showed less than half of Americans rate the quality of health care in the U.S. as excellent or good and over 75% remain concerned about cost.

Read the study here:

Read a news release below:

Statewide: Partnering with national researchers, Citizen Action of Wisconsin released today a new demographically balanced survey of 1,196 Wisconsintes on the affordability of health care in the Badger State.

The survey found 59% of survey respondents had experienced at least one health care affordability burden over the last year, and that a sobering 52% reported delaying or going without medical care due to cost. Of those that did receive care, 39% struggled to pay the resulting bills, and faced such financial hardships as depleting savings, being contacted by a collection agency, going without other necessities such as food, heat, and housing, and taking out loans or maxing out credit cards. The survey also found that 81% were worried about their ability to afford health care costs in the future.

Despite the intense public concern, state policymakers have failed in recent years to address the spiraling cost crisis.

“The survey data should be a wake up call to state policy lawmakers, who have not prioritized reforms that would slow the health care cost crisis gripping Wisconsin,” said Robert Kraig, Executive Director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin. “Some excellent cost savings proposals were introduced in the Legislature during the last session but they did not even get committee hearings let alone reach the Governor’s desk. These include a BadgerCare Public Option bill that would allow Wisconsinites to buy into the popular health coverage program at lower cost, and a Prescription Drug Price Review Board to curb price gouging by the Pharmaceutical industry.”

The Consumer Healthcare Experience State Survey (CHESS) was conducted in Wisconsin by the Altarum Healthcare Value Hub []. The hub provided free, timely information about the policies and practices that address high healthcare costs and poor quality, and bring better value to consumers.