Health care costs are outpacing inflation, according to a recent report.
While not exactly breaking news – this has been happening for a long time – it is concerning for every American.
Well, the average American family of four (two parents and two children) is seeing costs rise slower than in past years. That’s great news.
However, that family will pay more for care this year than ever before. An average family on an employer-sponsored PPO plan will pay more than $28,000 for care in 2018.
That’s no small sum.
An unfortunate, but not surprising, result of rising costs is people dropping coverage altogether. In 2016, more than 27 million adult Americans under age 65 carried no health insurance. I suppose they’re betting that they have enough saved up to pay for care, or are lucky enough to avoid costly medical bills.
The number of insured is likely to increase as costs rise and the Affordable Care Act continues to be dismantled. Meanwhile, as health costs rise and people don’t buy insurance, insurers increase rates or pull out of markets altogether.
Who ultimately bears these costs? Well, it seems on some level that we all pay them.
Governments and taxpayers support health programs like Medicaid. Employers subsidize employee health plans. And workers pay via payroll deductions and out-of-pocket costs.
What’s being missed here is that having health insurance is a good thing. There are many obvious benefits, and they all result in healthier people.
As it stands, we have nearly 28 million uninsured people. That number is going up. So is the cost of care.
We’re on a familiar and dangerous path. And our leaders in Washington have no answers.