One in five in US have no usual doctor or source of medical care

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
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A new analysis finds fourteen percent of Americans have no doctor because of high cost of health care.

The findings come from the latest News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). In the analysis that came from 2007 data, one in five in the US have no "usual care" doctor or medical clinic that they visit routinely, or 60 million people.

The reasons varied as to why so many in the US have no regular doctor or other health care provider – the main reason cited was that they never get sick. However, fourteen percent said they couldn’t afford the cost of medical care.

Even some with health insurance reported having no regular physician. The analysis showed 16 percent of people with public insurance and 4 percent of those with private health insurance reported having no primary source of medical care. Among those with no insurance, 29 percent said they couldn’t afford to go to a doctor or clinic for regular medical care.

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Hispanics were most likely to report inability to afford regular health care, compared to other racial and ethnic groups.

Sixty nine percent of blacks, as compared to 62 percent of Hispanics, 61 percent of whites, and 58 percent of Asians reported no usual source of medical care because they never got sick.

Compared to other groups as a whole, Asians most often cited mistrust of doctors as the reason they had no regular physician or health care provider– 12 percent versus 4 percent for other populations.

The findings from the AHRQ show one in five Americans have no family physician, clinic or other health care provider for regular medical care. One of the primary reasons, found in fourteen percent of respondents, was that they couldn't afford medical care.

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)

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