Health Care Reform, Post 1: Access to Insurance

As the Republicans in the House of Representatives attempt to repeal the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, I’ve decided to revisit what the issues in health care are and various strategies to address those issues, both within act and alternatives proposed by Republicans. There are some very good sources on stats and facts (as opposed to opinions and speculations) available via the Internet. I’m going to rely upon these sources: from the Kaiser Family Foundation; Health Reform Source, also from the Kaiser Family Foundation; Centers for Medicare and and Medicaid Services from the DHHS; and the Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care.

I think that everybody agrees that the problem with health care in the US is that costs are rising, pricing Americans out of the market, and threatening Medicare. At the same time, morbidity and mortality rates have not improved. Major disagreements occur over strategies to control costs, improve health conditions, and predictions about the future.

83% of Americans “pay” for health care through insurance, be it private or public (Medicare & Medicaid). The act, as delivered is health care insurance reform.

Here are the simple facts on insurance coverage in the US. I’ve chosen to compare New Mexico rates to the US rates.

Note that New Mexico has a significantly higher percentage of uninsured, than the national average. IIRC, only Texas is worse than New Mexico in coverage.

Employer provided insurance varies in coverage and employee copays. Smaller companies are less likely to offer insurance. Companies whose employees’ wages are lower than average are less likely to offer insurance.

Notes: Wages cutoffs are adjusted for inflation to 2010 dollars. Source: Kaiser Family Foundation calculations based on data from the National Compensation Survey, 2005-2010, conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

I find it very ironic that the poorest workers who are least likely to be able to pay for their own insurance and health care are the least likely to be given health insurance by their companies.


About ViAnn

Progressive retired geek who loves to play golf
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