NJCA Releases Data Report on Out-of-Control Healthcare Costs

February 22, 2023

Newark, NJ – Today, statewide advocacy and empowerment non-profit New Jersey Citizen Action (NJCA) released a series of reports showing rampant healthcare affordability issues with NJ residents, as well as overwhelming support from residents across party lines for systemic change to lower costs.

The data comes from a survey of 1,100 NJ adults conducted from October 2 to October 24, 2022. More than 4 in 5 respondents (85%) worry about affording healthcare in the future, and well over half (57%) have faced challenges affording care in the past year. This includes going without health insurance due to high costs, delaying or going without treatment or medicine, or struggling to pay medical bills.

“Healthcare costs, from prescription drugs to hospital care to preventative treatment, have run rampant without strong, mandated affordability measures from lawmakers,” said Laura Waddell, NJCA Health Care Program Director. “Our families and neighbors are being exploited by a system that lacks both transparency for treatment costs, meaningful pricing guardrails, and cost reduction measures. New Jersey patients and consumers can’t wait any longer for direct, enforceable action.”

In addition to broad concerns about healthcare costs, respondents also identified prescription drug prices and hospital costs as significant pain points. Over half of NJ residents are concerned about the cost of prescription drugs, and almost 1 in 4 reported rationing medicine due to cost. 74% of respondents think both hospitals and drug companies charge too much, and nearly half delayed or skipped treatment because of unaffordability.

“NJCA has provided New Jersey with a strong call to action that the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute (NJHCQI) supports,” said Linda Schwimmer, JD, NJHCQI President and CEO.Its survey with the Health Care Value Hub at Altarum finds that 72% of those surveyed agree that ‘the system needs to change.’ Far too many people report going without dental care, avoiding necessary procedures, or skipping their prescribed medicines due to cost. This report also includes specific actions the public wants government to take to address health care costs. As the largest purchaser of health care and regulator of these services, government must act to protect New Jersey families.”

Support for meaningful, systemic change to the US healthcare system is widespread among respondents across party lines. 72% agree the system needs to change, and overwhelming majorities (89 to 91%) voiced agreement with a variety of reforms including establishing a Prescription Drug Affordability Board, requiring hospitals to provide up-front cost estimates, legal action from the attorney general against price gouging, and more.

Read the full healthcare affordability report here, as well as the supplemental prescription drug and hospital pricing briefs. Watch a video explanation, given by Healthcare Value Hub at Altarum, of the data here.