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Ear to the Ground

Study Shows Steep Rise in Health Premiums

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Posted on Sep 27, 2011
Flickr / Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com (CC-BY)

A new study shows that the cost of health insurance for many Americans rose sharply this year compared to previous years, exceeding average increases in workers’ wages and giving employers even more hesitation about hiring new people.

The study, released by the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation, shows that employers paid an average annual premium of $15,000 for family coverage for workers in 2011, a 9 percent increase over last year and more than twice what employers paid on average 10 years ago. —BF

The New York Times:

The steep increase in rates is particularly unwelcome at a time when the economy is still sputtering and unemployment continues to hover at about 9 percent. Many businesses cite the high cost of coverage as a factor in their decision not to hire, and health insurance has become increasingly unaffordable for more Americans. Over all, the cost of family coverage has about doubled since 2001, when premiums averaged $7,061, compared with a 34 percent gain in wages over the same period.

How much the new federal health care law pushed by President Obama is affecting insurance rates remains a point of debate, with some analysts suggesting that insurers have raised prices in anticipation of new rules that would, in 2012, require them to justify any increase of more than 10 percent.

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prisnersdilema's avatar

By prisnersdilema, September 28, 2011 at 7:53 am Link to this comment

Is it Health Care or Wealth Care? Ask yourself the question..

http://www.bloomingtonalternative.com/author/rob-stone

“The Divestment Campaign for Health Care is one group that is organizing a push in that direction.
From 1985 to 1990, more than 200 U.S. companies cut all ties with South Africa, resulting in a loss of $1 billion in direct American investment. This economic pressure hastened the fall of apartheid. It happened as a result of people power, democracy in action. Pension funds divested from companies doing business with South Africa. Faith communities declared they would not support injustice. Students called on their universities to cleanse their endowments. An idea was born — “socially responsible investing.”
“There is nothing socially responsible about investing in the health insurance industry”

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By MeHere, September 27, 2011 at 10:20 pm Link to this comment

Thanks for the good comments that have been posted.

Do you have the feeling that physicians are behaving like technocrats nowadays?
Check this report:

http://news.heartland.org/newspaper-article/2005/02/01/technocrats-
takeover-threatens-patient-oriented-medicine

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By grokker, September 27, 2011 at 5:52 pm Link to this comment

As more independent research is undertaken as to why health care is so damned expensive in America, more and more of the blame can be laid at the feet of greedy doctors as well as corrupt insurance companies and billing practices. Have you ever had a five to ten minute consultation with a specialist and find your insurance company was billed at 550 dollars for the privilege?

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By GW=MCHammered, September 27, 2011 at 3:52 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

American healthcare is extortion. It shuffles incompetent docs to protect their j-o-b-s. It cuts cleaning shifts when hospital infections are on the rise. It mis-diagnosis, mis-prescribes, then over-sells ‘admit patient for observation’ and is replete with nepotism too. But all for top dollar of course. Promotional event$ to help the poor ho$pital? Ab$urd.

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By Miko, September 27, 2011 at 12:03 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Gee, I would have thought that naming a piece of
legislation the “Affordable Health Care for America
Act” would be enough to make health care affordable,
even if it was written by the insurance company
lobbyists with the specific goal of making health care
more expensive.  But I guess it turns out that the
content of the legislation is more important than the
name on the first page.

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