The health divide in America between rich and poor is among the largest in the world, a study found.
According to a survey taken between 2011-13 and published in "Health Affairs," 38 percent of people in households making less than $22,500 reported being in poor or fair health. That's more than three times the rate of health troubles faced by those in households making more than $47,700 a year, where only 12 percent reported being in poor to fair health.
Of the 32 rich and middle-income countries studied, only Chile and Portugal had a wider gulf, according to the study.
The survey was conducted before many of Obamacare's major policies were enacted that aimed to tax the richest Americans to help pay for expanded health coverage for the poorest, the Washington Post reported.
Those same policies are now on the chopping block under a proposed House GOP plan to replace Obamacare.
"Anything, any changes that are made that threaten to undo gains in insurance that have occurred since the Affordable Care Act . . . would risk setting us back in an area where the U.S. is in sore need of improvements," Joachim Hero, a health policy expert at Harvard who led the study, told the Post.
But he also said insurance is only "part of the story."
"If we really want to bring the U.S. more in line with other high-income countries with regard to health-care disparities, we're going to have to go beyond just achieving full insurance coverage," he told the Post.
The study also found the United States also ranked near the top in the income-based disparity between people who went without care because they couldn't afford it, behind the Philippines — with one in every five people in the bottom third of income reporting they skipped medical treatment because of the cost.
In the top third, only one in every 25 Americans did.
The study also found two-thirds of U.S. respondents said there were "many" Americans who don't have needed access but only 54 percent who said it wasn't fair for rich people to get better health care.
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