Christen Nelson has worked as a registered nurse for 20 years, and yet so many patients make such dire financial decisions, choosing between paying for health care or increasing utility bills. I say I’ve never seen a must.
Nelson is a home health care assistant in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, working specifically with older patients. Nelson has a unique perspective on the lives of patients. Rising costs from inflation, she said, have forced many of the roughly 70 patients using bonds to juggle which bills to pay.
“Social Security benefits haven’t increased because utilities, food, everything is going up,” Nelson told Yahoo News. “They have to choose between food, utilities, and medicine.” not.”
Nelson is not alone in his care. According to the National Energy Assistance Director Association (NEADA), about one-sixth of his U.S. households, or more than 20 million, are currently behind on their utility bills.
Nelson said financial conditions are so tight that some patients are taking pills in divided doses for extended periods of time or going days without medication. Others went without eating their meals or paying specific bills.
“It’s a really sad situation,” she said.
Many of the half-dozen patients Nelson sees each day are fearing they won’t have enough money to pay for housing and food, leading to a growing number of Americans skipping treatment or cutting back on medications altogether. An estimated 98 million Americans are skipping care or skipping basic care to cover rising health care costs, according to a new poll released this month by the West Health-Gallup Poll. We are reducing the need for
As inflation hit a 40-year high of 9.1% in June, many Americans were forced to make tough decisions about what was paid and what awaited.
“People have been making trade-offs to pay for health care for years,” WestHealth President Timothy A. Rush said in a press release. “Inflation will only exacerbate the situation and people are now suffering from high prices for gas, food and electricity.”
Rising electricity prices caused by rising natural gas prices have left many Americans unable to keep up. According to his August report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, energy prices rose 1.6% nationwide in July, his third straight month of gains of more than 1%. Each year, energy prices are 15.2% higher than the same period last year, the biggest annual jump in 16 years.
But experts are reluctant to say consumers will be bailed out anytime soon.
Song Won Song, president of SS Economics, an economic consulting firm focused on the U.S. economy, said, “The slowdown in economic growth at home and abroad will soften demand somewhat, but will continue to drive energy prices significantly. It’s not enough to bring it down to . Sacramento Bee.
According to NEADA, households across the country collectively owe $16 billion in unpaid utility bills. That’s double his pre-pandemic total. Overall, the average balance payable by consumers has increased by almost 100% since 2019 to $792.
To catch up, many Americans are turning to the gig economy to keep the lights on.
“We deliver with #GrubHub. Gas prices are so high that we can’t pay rent, utilities, or even a car,” said a Kansas resident. Debra Axon wrote on Twitter“Tips are also down. One order today was over 15 miles for only $2. I’m looking for a better gig. I’m helping my friend Kamsa, but I haven’t been paid yet.” ”
Some Americans hope that Washington will do more To address the situation, labor experts warn of too much government intervention, especially premature.
“Governments can do a lot, but unfortunately, they often exacerbate the problem,” Joel Suarez, assistant professor at the CUNY Graduate School of Work and Urban Studies, told Yahoo News. “Interest rate hikes are intentionally designed to ‘cool’ the economy, which is a euphemism for increasing unemployment and putting millions out of work. This is certainly one way to keep prices down, but it’s one of those ‘surgery was successful, patient died’ situations. “
As blistering summer temperatures continue to blanket much of the country, keeping lights on can be a matter of life and death. The average number of deaths from heatstroke has increased by 80% over the past decade.
But as summer turns to fall and temperatures begin to drop, the economic crisis isn’t over.
“We expect a tsunami of closures to come,” Jean Su, a senior attorney at the Center for Biodiversity, told Bloomberg.
Nelson, a married mother of three, feels personally strained by rising costs, but given the government’s recent move to ease her student loan debt, Congress will see things sooner rather than later. She admits she is optimistic that it will ensure improvement.
“I think there is light at the end of the tunnel,” she said. “Student loan relief will help a lot of people. I think it will free up some income so that people can buy more food and gas and contribute to the economy. I think they are working hard to help ordinary people.”
Cover thumbnail photo illustration: Yahoo News Photo: Getty Images (2)