One In Five Americans Say They Can't Afford Needed Health Care

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Nearly one in five U.S. adults ' more than 40 million people ' report they do not have adequate access to the health care they need, according to the annual report on the nation's health released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The report, "Health, United States, 2007," is a compilation of more than 150 health tables prepared by CDC's National Center for Health Statistics.

The report also contains a special section focusing on access to care, which shows that nearly 20 percent of adults reported that they needed and did not receive one or more of these services in the past year ' medical care, prescription medicines, mental health care, dental care, or eyeglasses ' because they could not afford them.

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"There has been important progress made in many areas of health such as increased life expectancy and decreases in deaths from leading killers such as heart disease and cancer. But this report shows that access to health care is still an issue where we need improvement," said CDC Director Julie Gerberding, M.D., M.P.H.

In 2005, nearly one in 10 people between the ages of 18 and 64 said they were unable to get necessary prescription drugs during the past 12 months due to cost. Nearly 10 percent said they delayed receiving needed medical care. This report did not study the relationship between access to health care services and health outcomes.

Other major findings of the report include:

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