STUDY: Without Health Reform, Premiums Will Increase Over 70% In The Next Nine Years

An America without health care reform is an America where families face spiraling health insurance premiums, businesses drop coverage and trim benefits, doctors are denied objective information about the treatments they provide, and millions of Americans live just one medical emergency away from bankruptcy.

Those who oppose health reform are choosing to maintain this status quo.

A new paper from the Center for American Progress, “America Without Health Reform,” points out that, absent reform, average premiums (the cost of health insurance to families and businesses) are projected to rise more than 70 percent from 2010-2018, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Read it here.

Premium Growth

This cost growth will have cascading effects across the economy as businesses trim benefits and workers lose their coverage.

According to researchers at Harvard University, a mere 20 percent increase in premiums costs 3.5 million workers their jobs, causes millions more to move from full-time to part-time work, and cuts the average income by approximately $1,700. CBO predicts that this 20 percent increase will occur over the next four years.

Today, more than 51 million Americans under age 65 do not have health insurance as of January 2009, and millions more drift in and out of coverage as their employment and financial situation changes. Approximately 87 million Americans under 65—nearly one in three—went without health insurance for some period in 2007 or 2008.

Even as the economy recovers over the coming years, swelling health care costs could cause businesses to continue cutting back on health care, dropping more of their employees into the ranks of the uninsured. A recent survey by Hewitt Associates found that approximately 20 percent of employers were planning to stop offering health benefits in the next three to five years, up from just 4 percent of employers in the 2008 survey.

Without reform, our broken health care system will continue to squeeze families, businesses, doctors, the federal budget, and the economy. Every day, the status quo is increasingly indefensible.

Read the full report here.