Most Americans like their doctors, but not all feel they can afford one.
Asked, "Do you feel you have enough medical benefits so that you can get the medical care you need?" nearly one person in four answered no in a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll.
Seventy-six percent of those questioned said yes, 23 percent said no, and another 17 percent said they didn't know or had no opinion.
By recent federal figures, between a third and a quarter of the population is "under-insured," and 16 percent lack year-around coverage. Uwe Reinhardt, Princeton University economist, recently said the health insurance system is not only "lopsided" but also getting worse, since a decade ago only 10 percent of Americans lacked health insurance.
According to the American Medical Association, between 24 and 37 percent of Americans under 65 lack adequate coverage (depending on how "adequate" is defined). The AMA says 9 percent of those under-65s lack health insurance for a year, 9.4 percent part of the year, and even more lack an "adequate" plan, defined as one covering a high-cost illness.
Who feels the pinch most?
In the Post-ABC poll, 29 percent of working class but only 16 percent of middle class respondents -- and 32 percent of blacks but only 21 percent of whites -- said they lack adequate benefits. Forty percent of those with household incomes under $12,000 a year also fell short. Surprisingly, so did 15 percent of those with incomes between $30,000 and $50,000.
The AMA report said the least insured tend to be women, part-time workers, the self-employed, the unemployed, those in poor health and those who earn the least.