A number of studies released in the past two weeks underscore the urgent need facing American workers, their families and small businesses — from rising insurance and prescription costs to lost coverage:
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation — Barely Hanging On: Middle-Class and Uninsured
The cost of family coverage continues to skyrocket — employees paid 81 percent more for a family insurance policy in 2008 than they did in 2000.
3 million middle-income Americans lost their employer-sponsored health insurance between 2000-2008.
An estimated 12.9 million middle-class people are uninsured — two million MORE than were uninsured in 2000.
Kaiser Family Foundation — Medicare Part D: Prices for Brand-Name Drugs in Coverage Gap
3.4 million seniors fell into the Medicare Part D prescription drug donut hole in 2007.
Seniors in the donut hole since January 2009 have seen the prices for the ten most commonly used brand-name prescription drugs increase by 5 percent or more — twice the rate of inflation
Urban Institute — The Cost of Uncompensated Care with and without Health Reform
The number of uninsured people will fall “significantly” with comprehensive health insurance reform before Congress — leading to a drop in the cost of uncompensated care which is paid for primarily with taxpayer funds.
“Without health reform, health care costs and health insurance premiums will grow faster than incomes. This trend will affect employer offers and individuals' ability to afford coverage. More people will become eligible for Medicaid, but many would also become uninsured.”
The White House has also been highlighting the real numbers that are representative of our broken health care system to raise awareness on why health care reform is so urgently needed:
This weekend, the House will vote on comprehensive health insurance reform–legislation that will put American families and small business owners–not the insurance companies–in control of their own health care, make health insurance affordable for middle class and small businesses, reduce premiums and out-of-pocket costs, and give give millions of Americans access to affordable insurance choices just as big businesses have through a new competitive health insurance market that keeps costs down.