Health insurance is one of my biggest monthly expenses outside my mortgage. I am fortunate in that my employer offers a very good health insurance plan. Despite having adequate health insurance, the cost of healthcare is still high. I try not to complain too much about the cost of healthcare for my family – after all, millions of Americans do not have access to health insurance.
President Barack Obama has made it his mission to make health insurance accessible to everyone in America. His goal is to reduce the cost of healthcare for everyone. At first, I kind of wondered what the big deal was. After all, even when my cost of healthcare seems high I feel blessed enough to have health insurance. According to CNN, healthcare spending has outpaced economic growth by forty years.
Think about that for a minute. Healthcare spending increased 119% between 1970 and 2007 while wages only increased 30%. For one to say that healthcare spending isn’t an issue, the two percentages need to be a lot closer than they are.
The current healthcare bill that is in Congress is a whopping 852 pages. A common misconception is that healthcare reforms would provide free healthcare to everyone. This is not the case. The current draft of the healthcare reform bill includes items such as a requirement for employers to offer a minimum amount of healthcare and pay a certain required amount of the premium.
If an employer did not offer health insurance, they would have to pay a fee of 8% of payroll to help employees purchase health insurance. Of course, some small businesses would be exempt from this requirement. Considering a vast majority of employers in the US are small businesses, I am still not 100% certain reforms would meet this goal.
The bill in its current state would cost $1 TRILLION and reduce the uninsured by 1/3. How are we going to pay for this health insurance bill? That’s a really good question. The current healthcare bill says nothing about how we will pay for this. At a time when unemployment is in the double digit percentages, home values are falling, and the economy is unraveling, I don’t know where we would find the money to pay for this.
Are healthcare reforms really necessary? Despite the current high costs of health insurance, the US still has one of the best healthcare systems in the world. Citizens of other countries with socialist “universal health insurance” programs experience long wait times for simple lifesaving procedures.
Even though universal health insurance and lower healthcare costs sound wonderful, it’s important to think of the ramifications. If you support the healthcare bill, don’t complain when taxes increase exponentially and you have a lower quality of life.