"Many Americans are experiencing the rise in health care costs personally....These higher bills can be hard to meet....about 45 percent have taken some action to try to reduce the cost of their health care over the past year, including 32 percent who have skipped dental care, 21 percent who haven’t filled a prescription and 20 percent who have skipped a recommended medical test or treatment."
"Finally, the survey finds a large gap between what the average health insurance policy costs and what uninsured people are willing to pay. Majorities report being willing to pay $25, $50 or even $100 per month for coverage, but only 29 percent would pay $200 per month, and only 6 percent say they would pay $400."It would make an interesting personality (or political or class interest) test to see how someone reacts to these two bits of information. I look at them and think "The growing cost of health insurance far outstrips the sagging or shrinking incomes of most people in this country." But I guess if I were a champion of the drunk with cash health insurance industry, I'd skewer those tightwad uninsured people who blanch at paying more than $100 or $200 a month for bottom of the bucket health insurance.
So where does NPR go with this kind of information? Do you really need to ask? On Friday morning Richard Knox talks to health insurance industry gurus (grubbers?) and comes up with these little pearls of wisdom:
"Economist Jonathan Gruber of MIT says if everybody's going to be covered, some people will have to get used to the idea of paying more than they think they can....He says the nation needs to create a culture of health insurance where people think it's as much a part of the budget as car payments and utility bills."Holy smokes have these guys been going through my trash and looking at my pay stubs? They must have looked at my bi-monthly $362.50 health insurance deductions. Let's do some maths. That comes out to $725 a month or $8700 a year for our little All-American family of four. Man, what a bargain. We love it. We just love that every doctor visit is a $25 dollar co-pay and that our plan is a gold-standard 80-20 plan. We are just soooo "used to the idea of paying more than we think we can" - come to think of it, we've had about 20 years to get used to this idea. In fact I'd say in our nation's great "culture of health insurance" we are one cultured family.