The state of modern health care can be said to be the best of times and the worst of times. Medical science is rolling out treatments for diseases that just a few years ago would have seemed like science fiction. Healthier living, eating more sensibly, engaging in physical exercise, and avoiding tobacco products have also contributed to a decrease in diseases. The American Cancer Society recently noted

that cancer deaths have declined 26 percent from their peak in 1991. “This decline translates to nearly 2.4 million deaths averted during this time period,” the ACS stated in a press release. 1 Unfortunately, these medical advances have been accompanied by a huge increase in the cost of health care, which has made it unaffordable to many Americans. Not only is the cost of medical treatment increasing, but so are deductibles—the amount a person must pay out of pocket before their insurance will being to cover their treatment. These trends have caused some people to skip needed health care services, which puts their health and well-being at risk. “For individuals with insurance cover- age, health care costs were still an issue,” writes Jacqueline LaPointe. “Almost 17 percent of individuals who said they


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