Healthcare and Politics

posted on Thursday, January 28, 2016

For those of you lucky enough to live in a Caucus state, you are sure to be bombarded with political ads and events in the months leading up to the election. And Iowa is the lucky draw for the first Caucus of 2016. On Feb. 1, thousands of Iowans will lobby hard for their candidates -- trying to sway others to ‘their side.’ Now this blog is no place for politics, but I think it is important in an election year to at least be educated about the current economics regarding healthcare.

A survey done earlier this year by New Kaiser/New York Times revealed some interesting statistics.

  • 1 in 5 working-age Americans have difficulty paying medical bills
  • 63% of those insured reported using most of their savings to deal with medical bill problems and 42% took on an extra job or worked more hours
  • 38% of all the personal debt in collections last year was attributed to health care.
  • 11% increase in patient costs
  • 7% increase in deductibles

Deductibles have nearly doubled over the past five years. In his Wall Street Journal column, Altman of the Kaiser Family Foundation wrote, "Since 2006 wages have grown 23 percent while deductibles for single coverage have risen 108 percent."

I think it would be very interesting to hear what our presidential candidates have to say about these trends.

  1. high deductibles
  2. patient costs