Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Market Based Health Care Does Not Work!

45.7 million Americans lack health insurance and 25 million more Americans are underinsured, up from 16 million two years ago. In 2008 alone, the 25 million under insured will have paid $30 billion in out of pocket expenses.

While these numbers show slight improvement, this does not mean our health care system has improved, as the decreased number of uninsured comes solely from government funded programs.

We are the only wealthy, industrialized nation that does not have a universal health care system yet we spend more on health care as a proportion of gross domestic product (GDP) and on a per-capita basis, than any other nation in the world. In 2007 we spent approximately $2.26 trillion on health care.

So, why is it that we spend so much money on health care in comparison to other countries, yet so many people in our country are underinsured or are without insurance altogether?

Could it be the administrative and profit costs of private insurance? According to a study by the New England Journal of Medicine, the US spends 300% more in administrative costs than Canada and we're not any healthier for it.

The Employer Health Benefits 2008 Annual Survey will come out at the end of September. In the meantime, here is a look at 2007 list of exhibits...every kind of exhibit imaginable. Here is one example:

Since 2001, premiums for family coverage have increased 78%, while wages have gone up 19% and inflation has gone up 17%.

Premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance rose an average of 6.1 percent in 2007, less than the 7.7 percent increase reported last year but still higher than the increase in workers’ wages (3.7 percent) or the overall inflation rate (2.6 percent).

Overall, it's clear our healthcare system needs a major overhaul. It can't be said enough that McCain's plan will only make things worse.

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