We have often commented on the harsh blow being dealt to working Americans in the form of higher health care coverage costs. The Commonwealth Fund has issued a brief which confirms the problem. (Commonwealth Brief) Looking at premium trends from 2003 to 2013 for employment-based insurance, which covered over 150 million people, the total average increase was 73%, and employee contributions rose 93% in that time. Meanwhile, median family income rose only 16%. (Note that the authors use “average” for health insurance costs and “median” for income to make the disparity seem even greater, despicable statistical trick.) While premium growth has slowed since 2010, which happens to be the initial implementation time for the “reform” law, that is largely due to rapidly increasing use of and levels of deductibles and other forms of service cost-sharing. Whatever the cause, it is clear that the average household faces an increasing burden for health care.
What makes the problem even worse is that included in this analysis are government workers, who have much lower levels of premium-sharing and cost-sharing. True workers in the private sector have borne the brunt of the increases. We never tire of mentioning that at the same time, many people who simply don’t want to work and be responsible for themselves, are getting Medicaid coverage that has no cost-sharing. And of course, the Commonwealth Fund being ever the apologist for the Administration and its band of health ideologues, it attributes slower premium growth since 2010 to the reform law, without at the same time noting the much faster growth in cost-sharing since that date, or that objective analysts say the law has clearly made premiums higher than they otherwise would be.