Tue Jun 21, 2016, 08:31 AM

Politics In Real Life: Rising Health Care Costs Weigh On Voters

When the health insurance premiums got to the point that they were higher than her mortgage, Renee Powell started to become cynical.

"There was something in me that just kind of switched," said the mother of two from Bartlesville, Okla. "I was OK with paying $750, but when it became about $100 more than my housing costs, it upset me."

Powell is an epidemiologist and used to work for the state in Oklahoma City. She had affordable insurance through that job.


Rising deductibles and copayments can mean people don't get much benefit from paying monthly premiums. A recent study from the Kaiser Family Foundation shows deductibles rose about eight times faster than wages in the past 10 years.

That's taking a toll on people like Powell, even though they have insurance.


More Than A Quarter Of Adults Say Health Care Costs Have Caused A Serious Financial Problem

Poll: “Thinking about the cost of your health care over the past two years, how would you describe the overall impact of your health care costs on your family’s financial situation?”

Copied from RWNJ site NPR:

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Reply Politics In Real Life: Rising Health Care Costs Weigh On Voters (Original post)
foia Jun 2016 OP
WritelyWrong Jun 2016 #1
Currentsitguy Jun 2016 #3
WritelyWrong Jun 2016 #4
Currentsitguy Jun 2016 #5
Appalachian Man Jun 2016 #2

Response to foia (Original post)

Tue Jun 21, 2016, 09:37 AM

1. Damn, time for single payer then

along with reigning in outlandish drug pricing. How much of drug company's profits go to R&D vs. executive pay or dividends?

It works elsewhere in the world, why not here?

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Response to WritelyWrong (Reply #1)

Tue Jun 21, 2016, 03:16 PM

3. It works elsewhere

Because we, as healthcare consumers, basically subsidize the rest of the world underpaying.

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Response to Currentsitguy (Reply #3)

Tue Jun 21, 2016, 03:41 PM

4. Agree

We R&D the drugs and technology, sell it for as much as we can get here in the USA, then let other nations control the pricing in their country.

Of course, the other counties have single payer and negotiate the pricing directly with producers.

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Response to WritelyWrong (Reply #4)

Tue Jun 21, 2016, 03:52 PM

5. Here is the problem

I'm not sure there is an easy answer here. Assume for a moment we were to implement single payer vastly reducing profits to pharmaceutical firms, medical device manufacturers, etc. How long before the investors and stockholders of those firms start bailing out due to diminishing profit and returns? How many would survive? How many patients who are dependent on their products would die as patents are locked up in bankruptcy proceedings? How many very small volume products would be taken off the market as a cost cutting measure?

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Response to foia (Original post)

Tue Jun 21, 2016, 09:38 AM

2. Remember in the 80s, 90s, and early/mid 2000s when health insurance costs were flat...

and more people were insured and there was no threat of being kicked off one's policy or denied coverage for bogus preexisting conditions? And everything was fine and great, so great that all Americans were satisfied with their insurance and never feared going bankrupt because of the high cost of medical treatment? And insurance companies never ever placed themselves between patients and their doctors when it came time to decide treatment?

Neither do I?

Rising health care costs

We predicted in 1986 that health care spending would reach 14 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) by 2000. In 2001, it reached 14.1 percent of GDP, and it is expected to be 17.7 percent by 2012. In the 1990s, it was thought that managed care and government limits on overall spending would restrain rising costs. Although managed care did restrain cost growth for a few years, the recent performance of individual health plans suggests that this will not be a major vehicle for future cost containment. The government is likely to try to constrain Medicare and Medicaid spending, but it is unlikely that there will be an overall national limit placed on health care spending, such as that proposed by the Clinton administration. Rather, we expect to see both business and government asking the public to pay more out of pocket for their health insurance and the care they receive.

The uninsured

In 2001, 41 million people had no health insurance. During the early 1990s, the number of uninsured decreased as more people gained insurance through their employers. But by the end of the decade, the number of uninsured had again increased, as the economy softened and the number of people with employer-sponsored coverage decreased. We see nothing to suggest that this trend will not continue.

New technologies

In the mid-1980s, organ transplants were the expensive new technology, and the financing of these procedures is still difficult. But there are many new and expensive technologies on the horizon, drugs in particular, that are likely to be only partially covered by insurance. The recent debate over a Medicare drug benefit has publicized the lack of drug coverage among the elderly. However, what is less well known is that although many people with employer-sponsored insurance have drug coverage, they are being asked to assume an increasing proportion of the cost of their prescriptions.

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