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Health Care Costs Increase Strain, Studies Find

Even as Washington and Wall Street debate the best way to avert an economic disaster, increasing numbers of Americans are struggling with another financial crisis: the growing burden of unpaid medical bills.

Two studies released Wednesday provide further evidence of the toll that health care is increasingly placing on working families, even for those with health insurance. And as employees are paying more medical expenses out of their own pockets, they are having a harder time coming up with the money.

“The problems people are having paying for health care and health insurance are a central dimension of the economic and pocketbook concerns right now,” said Drew E. Altman, the president of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit health research group that conducts an annual survey of employer medical benefits.

The studies, policy analysts say, underscore the need for the government to address the growing unaffordability of care, despite the distraction — and cost to taxpayers — of a proposed $700 billion bailout of the financial sector.

“We can now imagine a government takeover that we could not imagine before,” Mr. Nichols said.

Although inflation in insurance premiums has moderated in recent years, the Kaiser survey found that employees were continuing to spend more in medical costs, including their share of yearly insurance premiums. Employees are paying an average of $3,354 in premiums for family coverage, more than double the amount they paid in 1999. The total cost for family coverage now averages $12,680 a year, up 5 percent from 2007.

Oh damn, Oh snap, blame Obama, blame the ACA, oh gosh, look at the date.
Published: September 24, 2008

And guess what, there was an article just like that one written in 07, and 06 and 05 you get the idea.

1st: go to this link and read what the missing puzzle piece is for the ACA.

California Healthline : There's one general perception that regulating rates is somehow a moot point because the exchange will offer more reasonable rates, which means we won't need regulation of rate hikes. But you don't see those lower rates happening without that regulatory power?

Jones: I'm a big believer in math, and I avoid magical thinking. I'm very concerned there's a lot of magical thinking going on. Look at the evidence. Look at what happened in Massachusetts. It's very clear the Affordable Care Act, in and of itself, is not going to magically reduce rates.

Health care costs went up before the ACA.

They will go up after the ACA.
Even if the ACA didn't exist, that's right, prices were going to go up.

Are people going to blame the ACA every single time costs go up? Guess what, insurance is a for profit industry, health care is a for profit industry- ergo, prices are always going to go up.

Will the ACA be the scapegoat forever more?

There is one thing to keep in mind; The Single Largest Federal tax Subsidy a for profit corporation can take is- Employer Sponsored Health Insurance.
Profitable businesses that drop coverage, will find that they will be missing out on of the largest deductions in existence. Take a deduction here, and a credit there- and low and behold, taxes magically go away. Kind of like nose cutting in spite of face.

Another fact, some people will wind up paying more, some will gain better coverage, some will pay more for less. Eventually though, everyone will save because pre existing conditions no longer factor into premiums and will no longer lead to outright insurance bans.

The lies and the misinformation can wear you down. The worst type of misinformation trolls are the ones that drop that the ACA caused their costs to go up. Might as well tell me how many angels fit on the head of a pin. Compare your old plan to an ACA plan, Apples to apples, premiums, deductibles, caps etc etc. What were they before, what are they now. How many times have your insurance costs rise in the past? How large were those increases compared to your latest increase?

It's so easy to blame the ACA, but the fact of the matter is, insurance costs were going to go up, just like the costs of gas, food, milk, tuition, rent, and childcare.

Originally posted to csainvestor on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 07:24 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Amazing. And even today the strain (8+ / 0-)

    of health insurance eats up too much of people's resources. We'll be needing single payer.

    We've yet to even raise the subject of actual health care itself, which ranks in the 'advanced' nations (and some poor ones) as having, both, the worst outcomes and the worst outcomes per dollar.

    Actual Democrats: the surest, quickest, route to More Democrats. And actually addressing our various emergencies.

    by Jim P on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 10:53:34 PM PDT

  •  First ya have to teach those critters...that (6+ / 0-)

    everyone deserves decent healthcare....there is still too large a faction of Americans that do not believe everyone deserves it.....As long as that is true...they are troublesome. Hard to move on to the actual care itself when so many are still pissing and moaning about everyone having the same thing they have.

    •  First ya gotta drag these antediluvian... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      on the cusp

      corporatist-wannabes on the right, kickin' & screamin' into 21st Century reality.

      First ya have to teach those critters...that (1+ / 0-)

      everyone deserves decent healthcare....

      The teaching comes later. Gotta lead the horse baggers to water school before you can make 'em drink learn. (so-to-speak)

      'Cuz freedom can't protect itself ~~ EFF ~ EPIC ~ ACLU

      by markthshark on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 11:21:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  csainvestor - no one is money ahead by spending (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, Superpole

    a dollar to purchase a tax deductible expense. A dollar of deductible expense can only be worth the marginal tax rate. Unless the marginal tax rate exceeds 100% a business is always better off paying the tax than spending the dollar, even for employee health insurance.

    One other question, specifically what $700 billion bailout of the financial sector is referenced in the first quote?

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Thu Oct 24, 2013 at 11:22:44 PM PDT

    •  Look at the date, Sepember '08. (0+ / 0-)

           The bailout was known as TARP. You remember TARP, don't you ?

      The free market is not the solution, the free market is the problem.

      by Azazello on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 07:27:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I predict they will ignore your first paragraph. (0+ / 0-)
      Profitable businesses that drop coverage, will find that they will be missing out on of the largest deductions in existence.
      Didn't make much sense to me either, unless one ignores the demands of cash flow.

      I have a small business client who wants revenue and expenses to match because he hates paying taxes. It's always a 'nail in the brain' moment when he says it.

      •  People need to understand that federal taxes (0+ / 0-)

        are merely a mechanism for returning dollars whence they came. It's like taking the car to the dealer to get serviced.

        One reason that isn't clear is because Congress goes to great lengths to pretend that dollars come from somewhere else. Why? Because Congress does not want to admit its obligation to manage the currency as a public utility. What they prefer is to use it as a tool to reward friends and punish their enemies -- which, in the age of rising populism, happen to be the electorate.

  •  My Health care cost are a disaster (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rat racer, Pluto, Superpole

    When Clinton left office. I paid
    90% up to $1,500 then 100% covered everything all day every day.
    $500 deductible

    When Bush left office. I paid
    70% up to $4,000 then depends on situation and is way to complicated to understand. Semi Fucked and could become bankrupt if an accident happened or awful illness struck.
    $1,500 deductible

    Today, it's about $850, 70% up to 4K depending on bla bla bla bla bla bankrupt bla bla OMAMA CARE, ACA, HAPPY DAYS ARE HERE AGAIN. I'm reading it maybe about half $425 a month.

    I'm an independent contractor and self employed so I have been on a PPO, single plan forever. I hope I don't fall in any cracks, I am so used to being screwed by my health insurance company over the last 13 years. I don't trust them or any of them. I'm with Anthem/Blue Cross of Cali.
    Fingers crossed.
    Thanks this your diary.

    You can't put the GOP in charge of Government because they hate it.

    by Chamonix on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 12:33:59 AM PDT

  •  The reason people blame the ACA is that (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the President over-promised in getting it passed.  He repeatedly promised that his health care plan would lower premiums by up to $2500 per year for a typical family.  

    See here (listing several instances) and here (promising that during debate with McCain) and here and here and here, for example.

    So when you repeatedly say your plan will cut premiums by up to $2500, and you get a health care bill enacted, and premiums aren't cut but instead go up, yes people was think they were misled and that the bill is not doing what you promised it would do.  

    Yes, I know there are subtleties and details and reasons.  But the President didn't equivocate when he was making that promise, and so the public generally isn't going to give him much slack when reality is the opposite of the promise.  

    •  Indeed (0+ / 0-)

      And it's only going to get worse once the individual mandate arrives and the Dems have to explain in their customary mealy-mouthed way why such a great deal needs to be enforced with penalties.

      My family stands to benefit from the ACA, but not every family is going to feel so lucky, and calling all those families liars (as per the rec-list diary) is going to go over like a lead balloon.

      The ACA isn't a ticket to Wonderland for everyone.

  •  One, I didn't need a study to tell me this: (4+ / 0-)
    Two studies released Wednesday provide further evidence of the toll that health care is increasingly placing on working families, even for those with health insurance.
    Why?  Because I live it every day.

    Two, healthcare insurance companies serve no purpose in a civil society:

    Are people going to blame the ACA every single time costs go up? Guess what, insurance is a for profit industry, health care is a for profit industry- ergo, prices are always going to go up.
    Yes, insurance is a for-profit industry.  Duh.  That's exactly why we needed a public option, to give people a choice not to have to pay the vig for insurance to the greedy so and so's.  We don't need no stinkin' middlemen.
  •  Just curious, but why is the tip jar dated (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 01:17:39 AM EDT, yet this diary is dated:

    Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 10:24 PM EDT.

    All the comments are untippable (ph).

  •  Of Course Insurance Rates Soared in 2000's. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    There was a Republican President. There was no chance of a national health plan passing under a Republican President, so companies were free to pump out all the increases the market would bear.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Oct 27, 2013 at 08:19:55 PM PDT

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