Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Availability, cost of healthcare getting worse

Healthcare problems that result from the lack of an adequate structure of healthcare financing are getting worse. The following is from the Commonwealth Digest.
Findings from the Commonwealth Fund Biennial Health Insurance Survey show that, while lack of insurance continues to be highest among families with incomes under $20,000, uninsured rates for moderate- and middle-income earners and their families are rising, putting their health and financial security at risk. The survey finds that most of these individuals reside in working families: Of the estimated 48 million American adults who spent any time uninsured in the past year, 67 percent were in families where at least one person was working full time. In addition, survey respondents were asked about problems with medical bills and accrued medical debt; difficulties in accessing needed health care; problems managing chronic conditions; utilization of routine preventive care, like mammograms and colonoscopies; and coordination and efficiency of care.

Executive Summary
National health care spending is climbing by more than 7 percent per year, outpacing economic growth by a substantial margin. As health care costs have climbed, so has the number of people without health insurance in the United States, even during a period of overall economic growth. In 2004, according to U.S. Census data, nearly 46 million people of all ages were uninsured, an increase of 6 million over 2000. This combination of eroding health insurance coverage and rapidly rising health care costs raises concerns about the ability of U.S. families to obtain timely medical care, protect their finances from catastrophic health care costs, and save for retirement.
Single payer will not solve all the problems in the Healthy care system, and will also run into the normal problems of a government program, but it will be head-and-shoulders above the current lack of system. Just ask the automotive companies what will happen if they no longer have to pay $1500 from each car sold for health care for employees and retirees.


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