- Pennsylvania Among 'Terrible 10' Most Regressive Tax States
- February 4 Non-Partisan Training: HOW TO RUN FOR ELECTION BOARD IN 2013: HOW TO RUN FOR COMMITTEEPERSON IN 2014
- Republican Governors Opt-In to Medicaid Expansion
- The Reports of Unions' Death Are Greatly Exaggerated
- Ask Allyson Schwartz to run for Governor
- Mind the gap: Opting Out of Medicaid Expansion Leaves Low-income Families Behind
- Jan. 14 Workshop:HOW TO RUN FOR ELECTION BOARD IN 2013; HOW TO RUN FOR COMMITTEEPERSON IN 2014
- Seth Williams on Guns, Jasmine Rivera on School Closures @PFC Meetup Wednesday
- PA Revenue Strong Midway Through Year; Tax Cut Could Have Big Impact
- What to Make of the Fiscal Cliff Deal?
Paying More for Health Insurance
Along with the other bad economic news this week we learned that everyone - regardless of age and employer - is paying more for their health insurance.
The Kaiser Family Foundation reported on September 24 that, since 1999, premiums for health insurance have more than doubled, while wages increased only 34 percent and general inflation rose 29 percent. Deductibles and other cost-sharing have increased and are likely to increase as well.
Today, the Washington Post reports that premiums for federal employees will jump almost 8 percent, on average, in 2009, more than twice the increase for 2008 and almost four times the increase in 2007. Plus, people in the most popular federal plan, the Blue Cross/Blue Shield plan, will see an almost 13% increase.
Also today, the Wall Street Journal reports that our parents and grandparents will be paying more for their prescription drug plans. The average monthly premium for the 10 most popular drug plans will increase 31%. The premium for the most popular plan offered by Humana will increase 60% - and this is for people on a fixed income. In 2006, when the drug program started, Humana offered the lowest premium plans in Pennsylvania.
We have to do something to keep the cost of health care down so the cost to us doesn't keep going up and up. Senator McCain's idea is to use tax incentives and rely on health savings account. That will keep costs down because people just won't get the services they need; tax savings don't address the actual costs themselves or help sick people who need expensive health care. Senator Obama would put more money into coordinating care for people with chronic conditions, comparing the effectiveness of different treatments and technologies, and improving preventive services. He would reduce Medicare costs by allowing the government to negotiate the price of prescription drugs and by reducing overpayments to HMOs.
If you want to stop the increase in what you have to pay for your health care, then the Obama plan has more to offer.
Check out the analysis by the Urban Institute.