Pain at the pump

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By Kevin Freking\ ASSOCIATED PRESS\ Tue Apr 29, 6:21 AM ET\ \ \ WASHINGTON — Paying for gasoline easily tops the list of economic woes facing families in the United States, according to a survey on how changes in the economy have affected people’s lives.\ \ \ About 44 percent of survey participants said paying for gasoline was a “serious problem” for them. Across all income levels, the cost of gas was the most frequently cited economic concern. The price of gas nationally averaged $3.60 a gallon on Monday, according to the Energy Department.\ \ \ More than a quarter of households earning more than $75,000 a year described paying for gasoline as a serious problem. For those with incomes of less than $30,000, about 63 percent felt that way.\ \ \ In a distant second and third place among participants’ economic concerns were: getting a good-paying job or raise, 29 percent; and paying for health care and health insurance, 28 percent.\ \ \ Following in fourth place was difficulty paying rent or mortgage, 19 percent.\ Many participants in the survey, nearly three in 10, said they put off or postponed getting health care they needed in the past year. Nearly a quarter of participants skipped a recommended test or treatment. Nearly the same number didn’t fill a prescription.\ \ \ The survey of 2,003 adults was conducted April 3-13 on behalf of the Kaiser Family Foundation, which conducts health research. The survey’s margin of sampling error was plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Maria Stainer, assistant managing editor of the Continuous News Desk, The Washington Times

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