In late June, EMC Research and Impact Research conducted research on behalf of Consumers for Quality Care that addresses some of the issues plaguing our health care system. Washingtonians are struggling under the weight of these added costs; 45 percent were looking for Congress to take action on rising health care costs and inflation, with another 66 percent agreeing that health care costs are rising faster than other items.
Beyond that, by a more than 2-to-1 margin, they voiced their main concern in the health care space that out-of-pocket costs are too high. As it stands, Congress has taken some action to alleviate these issues in the Inflation Reduction Act, including the extension of subsidies for Americans enrolled in the Affordable Care Act and through the inclusion of of an out-of-pocket expense cap in Medicare Part D, but more can be done.
One of the most immediate steps that Congress can take is focused on mental health. The pandemic, whether you have been infected with covid previously or not, has taken a toll on us all. Between the lockdowns, the still omnipresent risk of getting sick, or effects of long-covid or deaths from this illness, many, across the country, have sought professional help to cope. Washingtonians are no different. That said, wanting to seek care is easier said than done.
While out-of-pocket costs are a main concern, a lack of access to mental health services is second, with 14 percent naming access their top concern. And across the board, voters want mental health care to be covered. Over 60 percent have said that it’s difficult to find mental health providers who are covered by their insurance, and 90 percent agree that it is more important than ever for mental health care to be covered under insurance.