Saturday, November 12, 2011

Uninsured Increasing Rapidly

The percentage of Americans who get their health insurance from an employer is falling rapidly: about 1.5 percentage points a year since the beginning of 2008. That works out to about 3.7M people a year who lose their employer-paid insurance and must find it elsewhere or go without.

According to the results of this poll, there are now 54M Americans without health insurance, and it's increasing at a rate of about 225,000 a month (2.7M/yr) -- a Reno, Nevada or Durham, North Carolina every month. So roughly only 27% of those who lose employer-paid health insurance find a replacement for it.

When do we arrive at the tipping point where something must be done?

With the PPACA ("Obamacare") phasing in over the next few years, employers will probably continue to drop insurance policies for their workers, especially if the economy continues to sputter (or worse). If they're going to do that, shouldn't their taxes be raised to compensate for the socialization of these costs? A health insurance policy for a family of four now costs about $19,000/yr, so employers are saving an additional $18B every year in employee health costs.  

health insurance in the U.S.

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