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Health Care Costs, Press Release

USofCare and Penn’s Leonard Davis Institute Release Affordability Brief

Published On November 2, 2018

By: Tom Kise

Washington, DC – United States of Care (USofCare), a nonprofit focused on expanding health care to all Americans, and the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics at the University of Pennsylvania (Penn LDI), today released the first in a series of briefs that will examine the issue of health care affordability.

The brief focuses on understanding the different ways that stakeholders conceptualize affordability, an increasingly prominent topic in the health care debate. It discusses the different ways affordability can be defined:  as an economic concept, as a threshold established in law by policymakers, and as a ‘kitchen table’ issue faced by families and individuals.

Using any of these definitions, it is clear that many Americans are struggling with the burden of high health care costs. A recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll found that a quarter of Americans list health care costs as their top issue in the midterms. USofCare is committed to finding meaningful solutions so that Americans can get the care they need without facing financial devastation.

“Affordability is an issue that many Americans are concerned about,” said United States of Care Executive Director Emily Barson, adding, “It is crucial to figure out how Americans think about affordability so we can best pursue policies that make health care more accessible and more affordable for everyone.”

“Our partnership with United States of Care provides an important opportunity to inform the policy debate about health care affordability with research evidence, and strengthen the ties between the academic and policy communities. We hope that this brief helps to foster discussion about the complex issue of affordability, and can guide policymakers on key issues to consider as they work to tackle this problem,” added Daniel Polsky, PhD, Executive Director of Penn LDI.

About Leonard Davis Institute

Penn LDI catalyzes and facilitates research collaborations and educational programs to expand knowledge and shape policy for a more effective health system. Its key themes include insurance reform, health care delivery, healthy behaviors, and vulnerable populations. As a research partner to United States of Care, Penn LDI produces, distills, and disseminates research evidence on what is known, and still unknown, about policy proposals to expand health coverage to all. Penn LDI brings its expertise to bear on important health care questions of affordability, value, quality, and markets.