U.S. survey finds smaller decline in medical bill worries

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In this Dec. 20, 2011, file photo, medical bills and other records are spread out on the kitchen table of a patient in Salem, Virginia. According to a 2018 national survey released Wednesday, Feb. 12, just over 14% of people said they belonged to a family struggling with medical bills. That’s a big drop from nearly 20% in 2011 but only slightly less than the proportion who reported the problem in 2016 and 2017. AP photo/Don Petersen, file photo
The proportion of people in families struggling to pay medical bills is down, but the number isn’t dropping like it used to, according to a big government study. In a 2018 national survey, just over 14% of people said they belonged to a family struggling with those bills, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday, Feb. 12. That’s a big drop from nearly 20% in 2011 but only slightly less than the proportion who reported the problem in 2016 and 2017. Researchers cautioned against reading too much into the results, in part because the survey doesn’t show important details like income levels or the size of the bills that worry people. But they said the smaller decline reflects broader health care trends. A big one is a slowdown in growth for the Affordable Ca
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