Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Healthcare reform- some key facts to consider

Washington is presently dominated by the debate over healthcare reform.  It is a very important issue, because a US federal budget that is already showing sizeable deficits will be blown up by Medicare costs of the baby boomers if past health cost rate of increases continue.

Here are a few key facts to consider as we all hear so much on this subject according to Moody's
  • Insurance is the most capital-intensive of all US industries.  This explains why insurance companies continue to consolidate into larger surviving companies.
  • Consolidation has resulted in near-monopolies in some areas, with a single health insurer holding market share in excess of 70% in 1/6th of all metropolitan areas.
  • Because of reduced ability to spread the risk, the cost of individual health insurance premiums (up 80% in last 5 years) has increased much more rapidly than large group insurance premiums (up 35% in last 5 years).
  • Of the 46 million uninsured, approximately 30 million earn more than $25,000 annually and about 20 million of those earn more than $50,000 annually.
  • Of the 46 million uninsured, the vast majority (almost 40 million) are of working age between 18 and 64.
We present these facts with no editorial comment just help the reader as you see the continuing outflow of healthcare "fixes" from Washington.