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Health Insurance and Financial Well-Being

By January 20, 2024Commentary

There is no question that health care and health insurance costs have risen rapidly for several decades.  Incomes have increased as well, but not at the same pace.  This study of people who got insurance through their employer examined the impact of this on households’ financial status.  The authors’ note that health insurance costs, and the share born directly by families, has increased faster than wages over the last two decades.  This is true and the reasons are multifactorial.  Part of the reason is the health irresponsibility of many Americans, especially low-income Americans.  The authors make this look worse than it likely is by claiming all of the insurance costs are lost wages.  The implication is that if government paid for everything that wouldn’t happen.  If government was the single-payer, consumers would be far worse off because of inefficiencies and the increased tax burden on consumers and/or companies needed to fund such a system.  (JAMA Article)

Note, however that the authors are committed single-payer ideologues and do their analysis in isolation.  If you did the same thing for the total cost of government for people over the same period, taxes and fees, you would see that the cost of government is even more of a problem for the average person.  And government is responsible for much of the increase in health care and health insurance costs by increased regulatory burdens, fees, taxes, benefit mandates, etc.  Government also increases other costs, particularly utility costs.  So if you want a villain for why families appear to be losing ground, it is the government’s fault and these authors have specifically pimped the governent policies that have raised costs.

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Keith Morton says:

    Is there any other “product” that EVERYONE expects the same quality as afforded to Bill Gates….without paying for it? Part of the problem is the word “healthcare”. What does that mean? When you have a cold or infection you can see a doctor? Or $30k a month drugs?

  • Dan says:

    Nothings going to change because both parties are in on the keeping the fraud going until it blows up. At least the border which I’m more concerned about has one person up for election that claims he will do something.

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