HCAN! New York

What, you worry? Yes, you.

Posted on March 30th, 2009 by David Vigoda

Some people think they don’t need to pay attention to health care reform because they have good coverage. Others think reform will drive up their premiums because they’ll have to subsidize people who are currently uninsured. A new study makes clear that both these attitudes need a fact check.

New information about the cost the insured bear for the uninsured was reported on the Health Law Prof Blog, March 27: “Cost-Shifting: New Report,” http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/healthlawprof_blog/

Ben Furnas and Peter Harbage at the Center for American Progress have updated a 2005 analysis by Kenneth Thorpe for Families USA. The report presents two startling findings:

Finding #1: On average, 8% of a family’s 2009 health care premiums cover the shifting of costs from the uninsured to the insured.

How is this possible? The uninsured pay more for care—and get less—than those with insurance. But when the uninsured cannot pay, health care providers shift those costs to those who can pay. This leads to higher premiums.

Finding #2: About 87 million people—one in three Americans—went without health insurance for some period during 2007 and 2008. An estimated 14,000 people EVERY DAY lost their health insurance during December 2008 and January 2009 due to job loss.

The fact is that we are all at risk of losing health insurance coverage and those who are insured are being billed to cover the costs of services to those who are not. Now are you interested in health care reform?

Check out Health Care for America Now. We support choice. If you like your current coverage, you can keep it. But if you don’t, or can’t afford coverage, or have been dropped because you lost your job, or you’re having coverage denied because of a pre-existing condition, then we support the creation of a public health insurance plan. We support guaranteed affordable quality health care for all.

Help make it happen THIS YEAR. Join the campaign.

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