The respected Kaiser Family Foundation released a report yesterday documenting that business health costs are still skyrocketing – the average family policy through an employer now costs $13,375. The chart on the first page of the summary says it all:
This is really, really not sustainable. It’s hard to believe for many people, but health costs for employers and employees have more than doubled in the last decade. Your health plan costs twice what it did ten years ago. We need health reform – and we need it now. We have to have cost controls like a public option health plan. We simply can’t afford to allow the insurance companies and drug companies and other parts of our health system that are making so much money and getting so wealthy to keep doing so at the expense of everyone else.
Businesses understand this:
A major business lobby weighed in Tuesday, saying that if current trends continue, annual health-care costs for employers will rise 166 percent over the next decade — to $28,530 per employee.
“Maintaining the status quo is simply not an option,” said Antonio M. Perez, chief executive of Eastman Kodak and a leader of the Business Roundtable. “These costs are unsustainable and would put millions of workers at risk,” Perez said in a statement.
For all the people yelling about how they don’t want change, perhaps these latest figures will make a difference. Rational debate is hard, but when your job and livelihood is on the line and your salary is actually decreasing because we are making people in the health industry rich, it might be time to listen.