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Workers ID Drug Firms As Health Cost Villains

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U.S. consumers believe drug costs and medical malpractice suits are the factors most responsible for increasing U.S. health care costs.

Researchers at Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, New York, have published that finding in a summary of results from a survey of 473 U.S. residents ages 18 and older who were employed at least part-time.

About 28% of the workers named “profits of drug companies” as the “factor most responsible for increasing [the] costs of health care.”

“Lawsuits against physicians” ranked second, at 14%, and “physician fees and salaries” came in third at 10%.

About 19% named “poor health of the population” or an “aging population.”

About 14% identified obesity or smoking as the factor most responsible for increasing health care costs.

When researchers asked workers about mandatory health coverage requirements, they found that only 53% of participants said employers with 50 or fewer employees should have to provide coverage, but 79% said employers with more than 1,000 employees should have to insure their employees’ health.