Are Americans All That Satisfied With Their Employer-Provided Health Insurance?

Republicans and some DemocratRepublicans and some Democratic candidates are lambasting health care for all as a pipedream or even worse, something Americans do not want. Is this so?

Consider that four in ten people covered by an employer-sponsored health plan say they have problems affording premiums, paying deductibles, cost-sharing or finding something they need is not covered by the policy. They have had to cut back on other expenses. This was the finding of the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Los Angeles Times.

One in eight Americans says they have at least one relative or friend who has died within the past five years as a result of not being able to afford treatment for a medical condition.34 Million Americans have lost loved ones because they couldn’t afford healthcare. Healthcare costs are a pocketbook challenge for more and more people.

40% of people covered by an employer-sponsored health plan said they had problems paying medical bills or affording premiums, deductibles, cost-sharing or an unexpected bill, according to data released this year by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Los Angeles Times. Employer and employee premiums for private health insurance for a household now average $20,576, before deductibles and copayments, and before payroll and state and local taxes to pay for healthcare for the elderly and the poor.

The high cost of health care drives over one million middle-class Americans into bankruptcy each year. 2 out of 3 of these bankruptcies are caused by medical bills. When I was a young lawyer in the late 60’s, I made a study of the causes of consumer bankruptcy. Only 1 in 20 people blamed medical bills. Medical debt is an incredibly common problem.

Healthcare costs are projected to go up 20% in the coming year, putting more and more Americans  a financial barrier to getting affordable healthcare for millions more.

Even people on Medicare need help. 53 percent of Medicare enrollees who are seriously ill say they have major problems paying their medical bills, according to an AARP study.

A seriously ill patient is someone with an illness or chronic condition that requires two or more hospital stays and three or more doctor visits over a three-year period.

By contrast, when a Canadian is diagnosed with prostate cancer, he or she undergoes a multitude of tests, specialist consultations, a month of radiation treatment and a surgical procedure. His out-of-pocket costs? Zero.

Canada has better health outcomes than the United States while spending far less on health care. Canadians’ life expectancy is 82 on average — more than three years longer than Americans’, according to a 2019 report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) based on 2017 data. It also boasts a far lower rate of deaths from treatable causes, at 59 per 100,000 residents, compared with 88 per 100,000 residents in the United States. The infant mortality rate in Canada is 4.5 per 1,000 live births, compared with the U.S. rate of 5.8.

What has transpired during these years is the cost of health care has skyrocketed. National health expenditures increased 179% between 2000 and 2019 to $3.8 trillion,

Medical bills are so common that one out of every six Americans has an unpaid medical bill on their credit report and it’s the main reason for calls from collection agencies Most of these Americans have insurance and it’s broken. Insurance is often not enough to save Americans from massive debts when serious illness strikes.

We spend twice as much per person as any other country in the world, yet we are not as a whole as healthy as other advanced nations.

Tax on marijuana comparable to how cigarettes and liquor are taxed. Marijuana stocks soar as decriminalization bill has passed the House Judiciary Committee; bill still needs to be approved by House and US Senate. This can a large source of health care funding.

Our problem, according to Hunter University professor of public health and Harvard lecturer is the “Health insurance that we have today is a defective product.”

It’s time we rang the closing on a health care system that isn’t working.

One thought on “Are Americans All That Satisfied With Their Employer-Provided Health Insurance?”

  1. As health care gets too expensive and unaffordable, for even the insured, insurance and pharmaceutical companies are making huge profits. If politics were not in the equation, of the dollars now paid into insurance companies and medication costs that can’t be negotiated by Medicare, how much could be channelled into the actual cost of affordable medical care?

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