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(January 14, 2009)

Health care in hard times

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From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.

When the economy turns toward trouble, finding and keeping health care coverage gets harder, too. Many people are having problems paying medical bills. Some are cutting back on care they need.

At HHS’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Director Dr. Carolyn Clancy says that’s risky, especially if you haven’t talked with your health care provider. And she says skipping taking your medications, or cutting pills in half, can be very dangerous to your health.

Dr. Clancy says there are other options:

[Dr. Carolyn Clancy speaks] ``One option would be talking to your doctor about switching to generic medications. Also, look into programs that might be available in your community to help with medication and other health care expenses.’’

HHS’ Health Resources and Services Administration funds health centers where you can go even if you have no health insurance.

Learn more at

HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.

Last revised: January, 14 2009