Thursday, April 07, 2005

Fix Healthcare Now

The news on healthcare in America is not all that rosy. The AP reports:

Premiums for family coverage in employer-sponsored plans rose 59 percent between 2001 and 2004, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, compared with a 9.7 percent growth in consumer prices.

The escalating costs are expected to keep the ranks of the uninsured growing for years to come. A study by researchers at the University of California, San Diego, published Tuesday by the policy journal Health Affairs, predicts that 56 million people in the U.S. — more than one in four American workers — will be uninsured by 2013.

David Broder also addresses the problem in his Post editorial today, concluding we should be focusing on fixing healthcare before we tackle Social Security. Broder is 100% correct.

This is not a debate about rights (as the Democrats like to position it) or about the freedom to choose your own provider (as Republicans say). This is about the economy. We simply cannot sustain such high numbers of uninsured because, when they get sick, someone absorbs the costs. Those costs are already high and, if UC San Diego’s report is right, the costs will soon be bludgeoning the economy.

Let’s start coming up with ideas now.


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