Why we need health care reform

…and why it will be good for the economy:


Data from Kaiser, apparently

Data from the Kaiser Family Foundation

Pretty incredible. In less than 10 years, the average price of health insurance more than doubled, for both families and individuals. Insuring your family in 2008 cost you $6,889 more than it did in 1999. I know that we had some economic boomtime in the interim (but not the whole way — remember the dot com bust? 9/11?) and the usual coupla percent for inflation — but wow. That is lot more money to pay for insurance over a span of just 9 years. And while science and medicine continue to develop and make breakthroughs at an awesome pace, it’s not like nobody is dying today, while in 1999 you were toast if you got a cold. We probably have more access to some better diagnostic technology, a few new drugs (for more unusual and rare diseases) and fancier hospitals with more glass on their façades, but I don’t agree that we need to pay more than double what we were (and I guess I can’t really say “we” here, being uninsured myself) in 1999 for those developments. 

My point is that when consumers are being hosed, as they apparently are, either someone is benefitting unfairly from all of that extra money being paid, or it is being wasted in an increasingly inefficient system. It is reasonable and proper to for the government step in to regulate this unfair enrichment on the backs of millions of Americans or the waste of the hard earned dollars of millions of Americans; I think everyone can agree on that. Regulation of the health insurance industry will not only increase the overall health of the workforce, but decrease the burden of health insurance and free up billions of dollars for more efficient investments with better returns.


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