Health insurance is so expensive because every day fewer people are paying for their health care. The people who have insurance, be it private or Medicare and the insurance companies are paying for the uninsured peoples health care. The hospitals simply over bill these people to make up what they are loosing to the uninsured walk in and emergency patients.
The growing number of uninsured has caused Insurance premiums to escalate out of control, while deductibles also grow every day. Each day more people are priced right out of being able to afford insurance coverage. http://www.chcf.org/topics/view.cfm?itemID=115327
Millions of young people live without insurance protection because they don’t think they will need it. Many will still end up using the health care system and the cost will get passed on to somebody else who has to pay for insurance. http://health.usnews.com/articles/health/healthday/2008/05/30/more-young-people-going-without-health-insurance.html
Millions of new people every day qualify for Medicaid insurance because they have low or no income. The federal government helps the states pay the Medicaid costs that are rising at a rate that is out of control. The taxpayers cannot keep up with that extra tax burden. The states pay Medicaid costs for people who qualify and those people have a very small or no out of pocket expense for their health care. The requirements to qualify for Medicaid can be worked around allowing people to use Medicaid who should not be in the program. ttp://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2005-08-01-medicaid_x.htm
Medicare patients like everyone with an employer backed or private insurances have a higher out of pocket cost each year to pay for their health care. They have to buy supplemental coverage too, if they can afford it.
Medicare also keeps lowering the amount that the government Medicare system pays to the hospitals and doctors for the care given to Medicare patients. Hospitals receive payments from the government on a fee basis for Medicare and Medicaid patients care. The hospitals again charge more to the patients with private insurance when the government payments don’t cover the costs for Medicare and Medicaid patients.
Malpractice lawsuits cause health insurance costs to increase. Doctors pay huge amounts for malpractice insurance and pass some of that cost to their patients. General practice has turned into a variety of specialty clinics. Medical equipment and supply costs increase every day. The billing procedures that are mostly done today on paper cost far more than electronic billing would cost.
Millions of young people have babies today and stay single so the state will pay the medical costs for their children. This is not free. The insured and tyaxpayers are picking up the bill. We have a generation of people who live on junk food, creating unnecessary costly health issues. That is another big reason for expensive health insurance now and it will break the bank later. These are all reasons for the high cost of health insurance but the main reason is that not enough people are paying into a system that they are using.
More people are exchanging their regular medical coverage for policies with huge deductibles to get affordable premiums. We have almost reached the point where the people with private health insurance and the taxpayer will not be able to pay for the cost of health care for the rest of the population.
Washington lawmakers, it is time to stop political parlor games and realize just how serious this issue is!