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Photo: Terry Vine/Getty Images

Medical bills have created financial hardship for most Americans within the last 5 years, including most people with high credit scores, according to a new survey by Elevate's Center for the New Middle Class.

Why it matters: Health care costs are increasingly unaffordable not just to low-income or financially illiterate people, but also to those who are comfortably middle class with a proven track record of money management.

  • The survey divided respondents into "prime" and "non-prime" categories based on their credit score, with "prime" responders having a score of 700 or above.

Even worse, 43% of those surveyed said that they've had catastrophic hardship because of medical expenses over the past 5 years, including 31% of prime respondents and 59% of non-prime.

By the numbers: More than half said someone in their household had visited an emergency room in the past 5 years.

  • 65% of prime respondents said the visit was at least a little financially disruptive, while 72% of non-prime respondents said it was. And 17% of people in each category said it was very disruptive.
  • Non-prime respondents who have used the ER were nearly 3 times more likely to report that they haven't yet paid off their bills.
  • Emergency rooms are often the source of surprise medical bills. Even so, respondents reported that inpatient hospital visits were the source of the most disruptive expenses.

Go deeper: The only health care prices that matter to consumers

Go deeper

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Axios Re:Cap talks with the turkey giant's CEO Jay Jandrain about what people are buying, what they're asking the "Turkey Talkline" and what the pandemic has meant for his business.

Biden introduces top national security team

President-elect Joe Biden's nominee for Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke Tuesday at an event introducing the incoming administration's top national security officials, where he told the story of his stepfather being the only one of 900 children at his school in Poland to survive the Holocaust.

What they're saying: "At the end of the war, he made a break from a death march into the woods in Bavaria. From his hiding place, he heard a deep rumbling sound. It was a tank. But instead of the iron cross, he saw painted on its side a five pointed white star," Blinken said.

America's Chinese communities struggle with online disinformation

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Disinformation has proliferated on Chinese-language websites and platforms like WeChat that are popular with Chinese speakers in the U.S., just as it has on English-language websites.

Why it matters: There are fewer fact-checking sites and other sources of reliable information in Chinese, making it even harder to push back against disinformation.