DENVER (CBS4) – Gross numbers paint a familiar picture; Colorado residents are concerned about health care, following their rising cost of living and housing costs. There is much more to these concerns and the new reality in a survey by the Colorado Health Foundation.
“67%, 63% and 58% of respondents see the cost of health care, mental health and drug and alcohol use as huge or very serious problems,” the report said.
It raises concerns about the daily needs of Colorado residents, says Jace Woodrum, chief health officer at the Colorado Health Foundation.
“This year, you got the cost of food, you got the cost of gas and the cost of housing, and in previous years it was health care and housing, health care, and housing,” he said.
The researchers interviewed nearly 3,000 people for questioning. It is believed that people cannot feed themselves and more often receive adequate medical care.
“When we are reducing meals, when we are reducing health care, it has a profound effect on our health and well-being,” Woodrum said.
“Doctor’s appointments, skipping medications,” Alma Flores, a mother and fast food worker, said. His colleagues tell him, “I haven’t been able to take a glucose test or an asthma medicine for a long time.”
Flores’ three children are under Medicaid protection, but he is not. He was at the Stride Community Health Center in Del Mar on Monday. He had not been physically fit for two years.
“It’s almost two years away, so I’m out of my mind. I’m just waiting for the results and I hope everything goes well. “
His employer offers health insurance, but he can’t afford it.
“We use the resources we have to provide this high-quality service for all federal and state grants,” said Phil Amateis, Stride’s Eastern Regional Operations Director. “I think if you really start structuring our care around providing community-based care, it will slowly reduce the cost of health care. Because people will be able to deal with issues sooner and not get as far as they can.”
Flores recently had a worrying bout and was able to get help.
“At one point I was scared because I thought I was going to have a small blow to the chest and then I had to go to a specialist.”
But he was fine. It brings to mind the thought of a long-term problem when you don’t have health insurance.
“Sometimes I’m scared every time I feel like it, what if I get something I have to deal with for so long?”
The question also becomes access. Many people don’t know how to seek attention, or are embarrassed. And the chances are still slim.
“I think that’s going to be a problem for all health care across the state. There aren’t enough health resources all the time,” Amateis said.
“About half of Colorado residents are delaying medicine or dental care,” Woodrum said.
The numbers are particularly worrying when it comes to mental health. Two years ago, during periods of pandemic isolation, 52% said they were suffering from mental health stress. But now society is more open to reopening businesses, allowing mass gatherings and removing mask orders. The results of the survey show that things have not only improved, but also worsened.
“61% of them say they have experienced anxiety, depression, loneliness or stress in the last year. And then when we ask if they get any help they need, a large number of people don’t get the help they need there, “Woodrum said.
Some of the reasons mentioned were access to mental health care, including the cost of services, the availability of appointments, and the uncertainty of finding providers. The numbers were particularly troubling among the color-dwelling population, Woodrum said.
“They were very afraid of the trial of their colleagues. When friends and relatives thought of taking care of their mental health. ”
Moreover, one of the problems that has exacerbated the pandemic among all of Colorado seems to be of greater concern.
“There is growing concern about alcohol and drug use; In 2020, 45% of colorists considered it a serious problem; In 2021, it was 50%, and in 2022, the majority of respondents (58%) now say it is a problem, ”says the survey.