STUDY: Without Reform, American Families’ Spending On Health Care Will Increase More Than 40% By 2019

Opponents of reform sometimes claim that we can’t afford reform. The truth is, we can’t afford the status quo.

A new study from the Urban Institute shows that, absent serious health reform, fewer and fewer Americans will have health insurance, employers will drop coverage, and health care costs will eat up an ever-greater share of household and government budgets.

They find that, absent reform, individual and family spending on health care (the sum of insurance premiums and out-of-pocket costs) will rise approximately 40% per capita under a best case scenario of low unemployment and economic growth.

Under an intermediate or worst case scenario (in which fewer workers have jobs and comprehensive insurance, more uninsured burden the system, and health care costs continue to spiral upwards), they project individual and family spending on health care to increase 50% in an intermediate case scenario or almost 60% in their worst case scenario.

Read the study here.


This growth would increase health care spending as a share of income from 2009 to 2019 by 13% in the best case scenario to 40% in the worst case scenario.

The study also finds that, under the best case scenario without health reform, by 2019, 20.1% of non-elderly Americans would be uninsured (approximately 57 million people). In a worst case scenario, 23.2% of non-elderly Americans, approximately 66 million people, would be uninsured.

Effective health reform would ensure affordable accessible coverage for all Americans while working to rein in health care costs, saving families, businesses and the federal government money.