Healthcare Is Still Too Damn Expensive

And what that means for wages. By way of Axios, we come across this figure:


Axios summarizes (boldface mine):

Employers consider a block of compensation for every employee. Health insurance, which is exempt from taxes, has eaten up a lot more of that block over time.

  • In 1999, the average health insurance coverage for a family consumed 14% of the average household income, according to inflation-adjusted figures from the Census Bureau and the Kaiser Family Foundation.
  • By 2017, family coverage absorbed more than double that amount, to about 31% of take-home pay.
  • Health insurance has hovered consistently around 31% of household income since 2012, as companies shifted their employees to plans that had steady premiums but higher deductibles and out-of-pocket costs — a strategy that has largely backfired.

Keep in mind that deductibles and co-payments also are increasing. To put this in concrete terms, if your employer picks up part of your healthcare insurance costs, a family’s average insurance payment (again, not any additional costs) has risen, in real 2017 dollars, from $1543 in 1999 to $5714 in 2018. And insurance doesn’t cover what it used to, so, unless you’re really lucky, add at least $1,000 to that for deductibles, medicines, and so on. That’s a significant chunk of income–of course, it’s even worse if you’re paying the full amount (e.g., self-employed). Even knocking off fifteen percent wouldn’t be trivial, especially if you’re earning below the median income; at the same time, your employer also would save a similar amount.

Best system in the world…

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2 Responses to Healthcare Is Still Too Damn Expensive

  1. jrkrideau says:

    We do not have the best health system in the world but my taxes pay for health care. When I see a doctor, I hand the receptionist my health card, they swipe it and that is that.

    Same thing for a hospital visit. I took a bad fall during an ice storm a few years ago. Eleven stitches in the back of my head. Carted off to the hospital, without health card. Attitude was, so what? We will get the card later. They even gave me a ham sandwich as I lay on the gurney.

    Total cost: I paid for a taxi to get home.

  2. Scottie says:

    Reblogged this on Scotties Toy Box and commented:
    Hello Mike. Very important that people understand what is happening in healthcare access in the US. We are paying a lot more and it is going toward the profits of drug companies and insurance companies. Every year in my home our healthcare costs go up and we find we are being squeezed by both the requirements of our health insurance / employer and also the costs of tests / treatments / medications. We worry what the employer will cut out of our coverage to save costs. We have talked of cutting coverage on some things and hope we wont need them to slow the increases in premiums. Our system of healthcare is broken in the US and we really need to start over with a universal healthcare program such as Medicare For All. Hugs

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