Americans have consistently put health care costs at the top of their list when it comes to health care issues they want the government to address and for political candidates to talk about. For example, leading up to the general election, KFF found at least twice as many voters said they wanted hear candidates talk about health care costs 27 percent as any other health care issue such as increasing access or decreasing the number of uninsured people 11 percent or universal coverage 8 percent.
Outside of elections, health care costs top the list of household expenses Americans worry about affording. When asked about the most important feature in their plan, people with employer coverage are about twice as likely to cite cost-related concerns as coverage-related ones. The opposite was true 15 years ago. This is a flip in priorities from the survey which found a larger share saying the most important feature to them was coverage-related, such as having a range of benefits or choice of providers.
One reason why costs dominate discussions about health care may be due to the significant share of Americans, even with health coverage, who say it is difficult to afford the routine costs of health insurance, such as their premiums, deductibles, and other cost sharing expenses co-pays for doctor visits and prescription drugs. The most recent KFF Health Tracking Poll finds that at least one-fourth of insured adults reporting it is difficult to afford to pay their deductible 34 percent , the cost of health insurance each month 28 percent , or their co-pays for doctor visits and prescription drugs 24 percent.
These trends correspond with the ongoing trend of rising premiums, deductibles, and other types of cost sharing in the employer-sponsored insurance market.
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For many Americans, prescription drugs are another component of their routine care. Three in ten adults ages 50 to 64 report having difficulty affording their prescription medicines 30 percent compared to about one-fourth of those ages 65 and over with Medicare 23 percent and one-fifth of those under the age of 50 21 percent , who take fewer drugs on a regular basis.
This group, adults ages 50 to 64, is not yet eligible for Medicare but is more likely to be taking more prescription medicines than other non-Medicare eligible populations. Beyond the routine costs of health coverage, health care costs also dictate when people decide to seek out care.
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About half of U. Most common among these are relying on home remedies or over-the-counter drugs instead of going to see a doctor 31 percent , skipping dental care 30 percent , and putting off or postponing getting health care they needed 26 percent. About one in five also report they have skipped a recommended medical test or treatment 21 percent while fewer say they had problems getting mental health care because of costs 12 percent.
About one in eight say their medical condition got worse because they delayed their care or relied on alternative treatments due to costs. In addition to putting off care, about three in ten of all adults 29 percent report not taking their medicines as prescribed at some point in the past year because of the cost.
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In addition, three in ten 29 percent of those who report not taking their medicines as prescribed say their condition got worse as a result of not taking their prescription as recommended eight percent of total. While the ACA resulted in more than 16 million uninsured adults getting health insurance, the uninsured population still faces significant struggles in their ability to access care.
Three-fourths of adults 76 percent who do not have health insurance say they or a family have postponed or put off care due to costs. The most common experiences reported by the uninsured include relying on home remedies or OTC drugs 57 percent , postponing needed care 50 percent , or skipping dental care or checkups 47 percent. One-fourth say their medical condition got worse because they delayed their care or relied on alternative treatments due to costs. Households with Serious Medical Conditions This survey includes self-reports and family member in household measures of five serious medical conditions: cancer, stroke, heart disease, diabetes, or a serious mental health illness.
One-fourth of adults 26 percent ages say they, themselves, are receiving medical treatment for either diabetes, heart disease, stroke, cancer, or a serious mental health illness such as depression, bipolar disease, or schizophrenia while a similar share 28 percent say the same about a family member in their household. Overall, four in ten 38 percent say either they or someone in their household is receiving treatment for one or more of these serious medical conditions. Although still a prisoner of war, Kaiser found life comfortable.
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In addition to free room and board, he received the name "Kaiser" from his American captors and found a mate. Kaiser became a breeding bird and began supplying squeakers for the U. By the s, Kaiser was the last surviving captured German pigeon in American custody and, despite his age, his offspring proved champion racers. Army's Pigeon Breeding and Training Center.
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By , Kaiser had sired over 75 birds for the army, living in his own special white loft with his latest mate, Lady Belle. As a special concession for his age, the army equipped the loft with an electric heater to make cold nights cozier for Kaiser and Lady Belle. Postwar, the army shipped Kaiser back to Fort Monmouth to live out his semi-retirement from active service.
On February 27, , the army celebrated Kaiser's 31st birthday. The children at the fort's nursery school held a birthday party for Kaiser and made him the guest of honor. The group created a special gold band bearing the organization's crest and engraved with "Kaiser" and "1st Retread " which the army placed on Kaiser's right leg. Kaiser came to Washington, D. Joe and Jungle Joe as part of the Signal Corps' exhibition. On Halloween night , Kaiser passed away at Fort Monmouth. He outlived both his namesake Kaiser Wilhelm and every other homing pigeon that served in World War I.
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His bloodline provided the U. Army with countless homing pigeons in World War II. The progeny of his great-great-great-great grandchildren, sold to the public when the army disestablished the pigeon service in , remain in lofts across the United States, undoubtedly still producing racing champions.
As for Kaiser himself, the Signal Corps arranged for the Smithsonian Institution to receive the old pigeon's remains after his death, for mounting and display. Since arriving at the museum in , Kaiser has found himself in good company with three other hero pigeons: Global Girl and Anzio Boy of World War II fame, and the little British pigeon Cher Ami, a fellow veteran of the fighting in the Meuse-Argonne. Frank Blazich Jr. Learn more about how animals served in World War I, including slugs.
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Skip to main content. Blog Home About Archive. America's Kaiser: How a pigeon served in two World Wars. By Frank Blazich , February 11, After he died in , Kaiser's remains came to the Smithsonian. He's not the only military pigeon in our collection. Capturing pigeons, in addition to other equipment, was not uncommon. This image is from the U. National Archives. In this image from the U.
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National Archives , captured German war pigeons are on parade with military personnel. In this photo from the U. National Archives , "men with previous service" and "pigeon knowledge" are encouraged to learn to fly pigeons for the pigeon section of the Signal Corps. Army, a bird identified as Kaiser perches on a post. Related Blog Posts.
Imagine being asked to contribute your best friend to the war effort, if your best friend has four legs, is furry, and goes by the name of How did animals even slugs serve in World War I? Veterans Day is a time to commemorate the brave men and women who are serving or have served in the armed forces.
However, the service of Pigeons in bras go to war. Exploring our Archive Center's Maidenform collection, intern Lindsay Keating found an interesting story about how pigeons supported World Subscribe to our feed Subscribe by e-mail.