Saturday, November 10, 2007

Some Health Care Facts

Recent Letter to the Editor:

Published - Friday, November 09, 2007

Some health care facts

The recent Minnesota Senate Health Care Hearing was well attended and has generated much debate. That debate gets emotional and reminds me of the ones concerning abortion or Iraq. Much of our debate is affected by scare tactics and misinformation. If anyone is interested in looking at facts, here are just a few sources:

  • Rate of uninsured U.S. residents younger than age 65 has increased to 17.9 percent (Employee Benefit Research Institute, Oct. 5, 2007).
  • Minnesota premiums for private health insurance jumped 7.6 percent, out-of-pocket costs up 15 percent (Minnesota Department of Health, Oct. 4, 2007).
  • More than 98,000 Minnesota adults aged 18 to 24 have no medical coverage (Minnesota Department of Health, June 3, 2007).
  • Health care costs are a larger concern than war in Iraq (American Society for Quality, March 26, 2007)
  • Most Minnesota physicians endorse single-payer universal health care (Univ. of Minnesota School of Public Health, Feb. 12, 2007).
  • Retiree health benefit costs increase 10 percent annually for cities (Moody’s Investor Services, Feb. 1, 2007).
  • High cost of health insurance hinders start-up companies (Health Research & Education Trust, Kaiser Family Foundation, Nov. 30, 2006).
  • More employers reduce or drop retiree health benefits as costs increase (Health Research & Education Trust, Kaiser Family Foundation, Sept. 26, 2006).
  • Most working adults shopping for individual insurance were turned down or found it too costly (Commonwealth Fund, Sept. 14, 2006).
  • Health problems for U.S. workers, families result in $260 billion in lost productivity (Commonwealth Fund, Sept. 1, 2005)
  • Uninsured workers are unlikely to purchase individual health insurance (Congressional Budget Office, Aug. 31, 2005)
  • More then two in five Americans have medical debt, medical bill problems (Commonwealth Fund, Aug. 11, 2005).

    Brooks is with the Great Northern States Health Care Initiative.

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  • (the source of the research list was Lisa Krahn of Mora, MN)
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