For several years, polling data and related qualitative research has shown that healthcare affordability is a top-of-mind consumer concern. Moreover, data also show that consumers don’t believe their personal actions are capable of fixing the affordability problem, nor is the market likely to address the issue—they believe there must be some government oversight.
Currently, few pathways exist for frustrated consumers to advocate for state and federal action on healthcare affordability issues. The overwhelming reader response to the New York Times series entitled Paying Till It Hurts suggests that consumers and patients are looking for these pathways.
This report summarizes a discussion of consumer advocates held on Sept. 11, 2017, in Washington D.C. With the group was former New York Times reporter Elisabeth Rosenthal, who authored the Paying Till It Hurts series, to provide detail on what she heard from readers. The group brainstormed on how to work collaboratively to provide ways for frustrated consumers and dissatisfied patients to effectively band together and demand marketplace change to make healthcare more affordable and higher quality.