Tuesday, August 25, 2009

More thoughts on Health Care

Workers are now paying $1,600 more in premiums annually for family coverage than they did in 1999. Since 1999, employment-based health insurance premiums have increased 120 percent, compared to cumulative inflation of 44 percent and cumulative wage growth of 29 percent during the same period.

A recent study by Harvard University researchers found the average out-of-pocket medical debt for those who filed for bankruptcy was $12,000. The study noted 68 percent of those who filed for bankruptcy had health insurance. In addition, the study found 50 percent of all bankruptcy filings were partly the result of medical expenses.

Every 30 seconds in the United States someone files for bankruptcy in the aftermath of a serious health problem. All one needs do is to look at the bankrupt GM and Chrysler car manufacturers to see what the crushing cost of medical care is doing to businesses and individuals. GM alone was looking at spending more than $5 billion on health care.

Fixing the health care industry in our nation is in everyone’s interest. For the neo-cons who are interested in helping those who can help themselves, saving businesses money should be of interest to them.

For liberals who want to help those who can’t help themselves, getting these costs under control would raise everyone’s standard of living.

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