Forget for a second that this is a presidential election year. Many topics being recirculated in political sound bytes are actually older than the hills. Health care is one of them.
In an Aug. 25, 2016 article in the Wall Street Journal, Harvard healthcare economist David Cutler describes the situation as a story of three Americas. The wealthy can afford coverage. The poor can access public assistance. But lower middle and middle class citizens are caught in an ever-tightening grip. “For them, the income struggles and the health-care struggles together are a really potent issue.”
Employer-sponsored health care is the most common form of coverage in the US, with about 147 million people dependent on the system. With steadily increasing premiums and out-of-pocket deductibles (an average of $1,077 in 2016 compared to $303 in 2006), both the employers and the employees are trying to keep up. Deductibles alone have climbed nearly seven times faster than wages of the past five years.
For small business owners, the healthcare bill is staggering. Approximately 40% of small business have had to eliminate coverage all together. This is success?
To paraphrase the late John Lennon, all we are saying is give people and small businesses a break.
Improving the world is a deliberate choice. Few believed we could put a man on the moon — but that’s what we did, in 1969. Surely, with collaborative hearts and good will, we can create a healthier future for our children, and ourselves.
Copyright © 2016 by the Intermountain Jewish News