Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Health Insurance and employers

Paul Krugman offered up this data set last week in The New York Times. 

Sobering facts. 

For years I've wondered how long American corporations and business can continue to foot the bill for the nation's health care strategy.  The time is coming when thoughtful business leaders will join with consumers to drive forward a more comprehensive, sane plan for providing the health care benefits we all need

The Collapse of Employment-Based Coverage

Reed Abelson at Economix points us to a startling study on the effects of the Great Recession on health insurance. You can see similar trends in the Census data, but for whatever reason this survey — carried out by a highly reputable group — is even stronger. Here’s the key picture:

What this says is that the system that has provided workable insurance coverage to many (but not enough) Americans is coming apart at the seams. And this in turn means that if health reform goes down, we’re going to be looking at a wave of misery spreading across the land.


Anonymous said...

This has been the plan all along, for private insurance to go down. What business would provide insurance when the government would? Obama knew, when he said a person could keep his insurance if he liked it, that it would not happen.

Lorlee said...

You do know that the proposed law does not have the single payer option but relies on people purchasing from private insurers. A windfall for them. But they balk at a requirement that they spend at least 80% taken in on actual health care, while the administrative cost on Medicare is only 3%. Private insurance is doing just fine -- and I can attest to that by the bag full of offers I have gotten in anticipation of my being eligible for Medicare.

Anonymous said...

Our current system is so broken. As a country, we spend 17% of GDP on health care. No other industrialized country spends more than 12%. And almost all the other industrialized countries beat us in measurable ways on outcomes: life expectancy, infant mortality, etc. We spend the most and get the least. I don't have the answer, but it seems clear something drastic needs to change. 17%!!!

Anonymous said...

Private insurance cannot survive Obamacare. The reason is that Obamacare has so many mandates that private insurance cannot possibly survive. Patients previously covered by private insurance will find themselves funded into government health programs--just the way Obama planned it.

Do a little research. Lorlee, I am confident you can do it.

Anonymous said...

No comment on spending 17% of GDP (and rising)? This is a serious drain on the economy and a huge factor in making US businesses less competitive against global competitors who do not have to fund their employees' health care. If you don't like "Obamacare," what's your answer?

Anonymous said...

Before the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordible Care Act, a number of general promises were made. Let's examine how they turned out.

Promise # 1

The typical family's cost will be lowered by $2500 per year.

The Truth

The Kaiser Family Foundation has found that since President Obama took office, the average family has seen their premiums rise $2,213 and that's just the beginning. A new study shows that by 2033, health care premiums will surpass the median household income.

Promise #2

"The 'Early Retiree Reinsurance Program' will award 5 billion to health plan sponsors until 2014."

The Truth

5 billion to last only 4 years, sounds reasonable, right? Well, no. The program that was designed to cover 80% of the cost of insuring early retirees didn't even come close to as long as promised--it ernt bankrupt in Dec. 2011.

Promise #3

"We will build on the existing employee-based system."

The Truth

Obamacare's minimum coverage requirements make the cost of insuring employees more expensive. As costs rise, eventually the fee for employers not providing insurance coverage becomes the cheaper option. In fact, a 2011 McKinsey and Company survey found nearly 1 in 3 employers planned to drop their coverage when Obamacare goes into effect in 2014.

Promise #4

If you like your plan you can keep it.

The Truth

The people who like their current plan are on the receiving end of broken promise #4. By 2013 69% of all employer plans and 80% of small business plans are estimated to lose their grandfathered status and will have to change to be in compliance with the law.

Promise #5

"We will cover 31 million uninsured."

The Truth

Obamacare will add 17 million people to the already broken and overwhelmed medicaid system. New estimates from the CBO predict that Obamacare will leave 27 million Americans uninsured.

Promise #6

The Small Business Tax Credit will help millions of small businesses afford health care.

The Truth

Thanks to near impossible qualifications to receive it, only a palty 1.1% of Americans are expected to see any benefit from the small business tax credit.

belinda said...

most countries have socialized medicine! they don't have all these insurance companies charging us out the ying-yang and getting little in return. but yet everyone is entitled to medical care. insurance companies don't want affordable health care for all - it affects their pocketbooks.

Anonymous said...

You're still just criticising. (And I won't comment on the legitimacy of the critique.) But what ideas do you have to (a) get more people covered and/or (b) bring down costs?

Anonymous said...

I know how we can get more people covered. Tax everyone a % of their income for healthcare and go to a single payer system! It is stupid for the American public to allow the insurance and drug companies to jerk us around. If other countries use that type of system than we can too. It is time for us to stop rationing coverage and letting insurance companies practice medicine.