Simply Staggering Health Care Numbers

Arguably the most relevant bit of data in the health care debate was presented today by the Kaiser Family Foundation…Simple Arithmetic.

This week we put out our annual benchmark survey of employer health coverage and costs. Two numbers jumped off the pages.

The first number was the average cost of a family health insurance policy in 2009: $13,375. To put that number in context, if you are an employer, you can hire an employee at the minimum wage for about $15,000 per year. If you are a consumer, you can rent an average two-bedroom apartment nationwide for $11,136 per year (though it is quite a bit more here in Menlo Park, California where our Foundation is based). You can also buy a new Chevy Aveo for $12,000, and it gets 35 miles per gallon on the highway.

The other result that jumped off the page was the stark contrast between increases in health insurance premiums and overall inflation in the general economy. Premiums went up 5% and prices overall fell 0.7% (mainly driven by a big drop-off in energy prices).

Hat tip to memeorandum.

3 Responses to “Simply Staggering Health Care Numbers”

  1. Certainly your example rings some truth … how ridiculous are these medical insurance costs … and this doesn’t even include additional costs of service.

    So how does this affect the Government?? Why do they need to get their dirty hands involved in my Health Care? Medicare is insolvent as is Social Security, get those programs under control first then mess with my Health Care. Taxes ruin the economy more than costly Health Care, why not get the Governments (State, Local, Federal) more efficient first, prove Government can actually work, then tackle Healh Care.

    The average Federal Worker takes $72,000 while a famly of 4 in America earns only $48,000 … so much for “Public Service”…. seems they’re serving themselves. What a disgrace …

    Government Regulations prevent me from shopping out of state to buy Health Care. Why not remove this barrier and allow the Market to work first? Lawsuits and Defensive Medicine cost around 500 billion per year. Why not do something about this first? Medicare pays less per service than my Insurer pays … why not even this out first and stop subsidizing Medicare?

    I agree with your assessement. Overall Health Care costs way too much. But we differ on the solutions and I can’t justify trusting a Governement that’s failed at everything taking over Health Care. Too much power and I don’t trust them, we’d never get the power back.

  2. Jack Jodell says:

    Like staggering numbers? Look at the annual salary and benefit information I posted in my blog on health insurance CEOs and lobbyists (Aug. 11 and 12 -“Beneficiaries of Private Health Care Parts I and II”) and the eye-popping salaries for pharmaceutical industry CEOs (Aug. 17- “Top 10 Reasons Your Prescriptions Cost So Much”). Then tell me we don’t need some serious government competition and regulation to stop those ridiculous excesses. As for Medicare’s and Social Security’s “insolvency”, bear in mind that had we not twice cut taxes for the ultra wealthy and also ran an unnecessary $1 trillion war in Iraq on credit rather than funding it through bonds and taxes as was every other single war in our history, we would have had more than enough money to fund Medicare, Social Security, AND a government-run health care system combined. But oh, no—we had to make the crybaby billionaires even richer so they could build plants and ship jobs overseas, and we had to make sure Halliburton, Blackwater, and the rest got their billions in non-bid contracts.

    Medicare’s administrative costs add only 4-5% to the cost of health care.. Private insurers’ administrative costs add 15-30% more to the cost of health care. No wonder we pay a far higher amount per capita for health care than any other industrialized nation on earth. Funny, though, our infant mortality rates are much higher than “socialized medicine” countries, and our death rates from many other diseases are higher too.

    What we have is a profit procurement and maintenance system. What we NEED is a HEALTH CARE system, and THAT’S why we need to take the profit out of health care and put the government IN.

  3. ObamaLied says:

    Jack; The tax cuts spurred growth after 9/11. Look at the Treasury Revenue charts and outlays … Government took in MORE money after the tax cuts, not less … so what are you talking about? I agree CEO pay is wickedly high, and they don’t deserve it. But its not a Government issue as is Federal Employee Salary, and their huge benefit package. ONE Federal Employee makes nearly double the average family of 4 !! How do you justify this? There are hudreds of thousands of Federal Employees, only a few hundred highly paid CEO’s.

    Second, yea, Bush’s War $$ was off budget. It adds up to some 500 billion dollars over 8 years? If this is wrongheaded how can you justify Obama putting 2 Trillion on the credit card in just 6 months??

    I agree insurers could be more efficient, Medicare seems to have lower administrative costs but often take 6-9month to pay out. How is THAT efficient?? How would you feel if it took 6-9 months to get paid huh?? If you think Canada or the UK has better Health Care you’re a fool. They track infant mortality different, abort preemies, etc. but their track record is NOT better. What has the Government done to earn your trust?? Do you think a Government Bureaucrat would be responsive to your needs?? Why do you trust the government so much?

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