Millions of Americans are dying because they're still delaying medical care they can't afford: report

In a piece for The Guardian this Tuesday, Michael Sainato points out that around 25% of the US population is delaying medical care because of the rising prices. He then told the story of 53-year-old Susan Finley, who lost her job at Walmart because she took one day off too many after she contracted pneumonia. With no health insurance, she was found dead in her apartment three months later after avoiding going to see a doctor for flu-like symptoms.

"High healthcare costs are causing Americans to get sicker from delaying, avoiding, or stopping medical treatment," Sainato writes.

Sainato then recounted the story of Anamaria Markle, of Port Murray, New Jersey, who was diagnosed with stage-three ovarian cancer in 2017. She was laid off of her job of 23-years after her employer learned of the diagnosis and given one-year's severance and health coverage. When the coverage ended, she started paying for her insurance out of pocket until it just wasn't financially sustainable anymore. Markle ultimately decided to stop paying for treatment, and died in September of 2018 at the age of 52.

Other accounts in Sainato's piece tell similar stories -- all of people forced to choose between live-saving care and paying their medical bills.

"Healthcare is one of the most contentious issues surrounding the 2020 presidential election as Democratic candidates battle over policies to expand healthcare access and lower costs, from Bernie Sanders’ medicare for all bill which would create a government funded healthcare system providing universal coverage to all Americans, while eliminating surprise medical bills, deductibles, and copays, to healthcare plans that focus on creating a public option under the Affordable Care Act," Sainato writes. "As Democrats debate solutions to America’s healthcare crisis, the Trump administration is delaying any plans for repealing the Affordable Care Act passed under Obama until after the 2020 election."

Read the full piece over at The Guardian.