‘You think twice whether to go to the doctor’ why the coronavirus in the United States can quickly become a disaster

The spread of the outbreak of coronavirus can be especially fast in the United States due to specific national model of health insurance and the high cost of self-payment of medical services, as well as legions of workers without paid sick leave, writes Yahoo.

'Вы думаете дважды, идти ли к врачу': почему коронавирус в США может быстро стать катастрофой

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To date COVID-19 — the abbreviated name of the disease caused by coronavirus 2019, was the cause of disease at least 90 000 people worldwide and more than 3,000 deaths. Of cases reported at least 60 countries, including the United States. According to March 2 in the United States has already recorded two deaths from this viral infection.

To prevent outbreak in the United States, the Centers for control and prevention of diseases encourage sick people to stay home and seek medical help. But some experts fear that many Americans can ignore this tip just because they can’t afford to lose the money, missing work or paying for a doctor’s appointment.

“A huge economic necessity to go to work”

USA are one of only two developed countries without guaranteed paid sick leave. According to the U.S. Department of labor, more than 1 in 4 private sector workers do not have this benefit, including more than half in the bottom 25% distribution of wages.

“These are people who really live from paycheck to paycheck, said Amy Traub, Deputy Director for policy and research at the analytical center Demos. Thus, they have a huge economic need to work, even if they have symptoms of influenza or coronavirus”.

Even worse, many workers who do not have access to paid sick leave, working in institutions, restaurants, hotels and travel, where they are daily in contact with many people and can help in the spread of the virus. According to the Department of labour in these service professions more than 2 out of 5 workers do not receive paid sick days.

“These are people that served [and] cook food for all of us, said Traub. Is the path of infection, when the people preparing your food, can’t afford to stay home during an infectious disease”.

If these workers had paid sick leave, the infection rate could be lowered. A study conducted by economists, the Swiss economic Institute and Cornell University showed that the overall level of infection with influenza is reduced by 10% when workers in the U.S. receive paid sick leave.

“Think twice, whether to go to the doctor”

Another problem is prevent the outbreak is the structure of the health insurance system of the United States. According to the census Bureau, about 7%, or 27.5 million adults in the U.S. do not have health insurance in 2018, making the doctor’s visit or emergency departments are expensive.

Even those who have insurance, may not seek medical care when symptoms of the coronavirus.

Two out of three adults in the US have private health care plans through an employer or special markets — these plans largely depend on cost-sharing the patient with the insurer through deductibles, co-insurance and co-payments.

These mechanisms of cost allocation “is intended to make you think twice about going to the doctor when you have a cough or runny nose,” said Dr. John graves, associate Professor of health policy at Vanderbilt University. But “that’s what worries us, and we want people to get tested and treatment as necessary”.

“They needed help”

According to the survey Westhealt and Gallup, conducted in the year 2019, a quarter of Americans skipped health care because of costs. In addition, 15 million Americans postponed the purchase of prescription drugs in the past year due to cost.

According to the latest reports, the bill for testing for coronavirus can cost more than $ 3,000 for many — a lot of money. According to the Federal reserve, two out of five Americans could not cover the emergency in the amount of $ 400, not borrowing money or selling items for cash.

Graves said that the situation of coronavirus is not easier for more affluent Americans, since most people this year did not pay a deductible for your insurance policy — the amount they must pay out of pocket for covered services before the insurance will take effect.

“They have not spent money to such an extent that the plan began to cover their costs,’ said the doctor. — There are many convincing facts that the collision with the franchise people cut unnecessary expenses, but refuse the necessary help.”

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