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Survey: High Costs Kept Nearly 200,000 Mainers From Pursuing Medical Treatment, Filling Prescription

Gabor Degre
Bangor Daily News file photo
OxyContin pills on a counting tray at Miller Drug in Bangor are seen in this 2016 file photo.

About 200,000 Mainers are estimated to have skipped medical treatment and didn’t fill prescriptions over the past year due to cost. Those are the results of a survey released by the progressive advocacy group Consumers for Affordable Health Care.

Executive Director Ann Woloson says the survey shows that even though the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion have helped improve access to health care, more must be done to reduce costs.

“We should be negotiating the price of drugs under Medicare, and that’s something the law explicitly prohibits,” she says.

The survey, which was released in conjunction with the West Health Institute of California, polled likely voters in six states.

“There are still many people who are struggling to afford the health care they need, when they need it, especially during this economic crisis and the COVID crisis,” Woloson says.

She says the report also finds that health care costs are going up for 3 in 4 Maine families and that roughly 66,000 Maine families have lost insurance coverage due to the economic shutdown brought on by the pandemic.