According to a recent Wall Street Journal interview with Mike Thompson of PriceWaterhousecoopers, employers face a 9% increase in the coming year in health insurance. This in turn could result in double-digit increases in health insurance cost for the employee. So at this rate those who still have health insurance may be faced with no choice but to go without it. Further due to the recession, employees are not getting wage increases to meet the increased cost. This is occurring just as many people are losing their jobs because of downsizing. Thus, there is a large concern for both employer and employee. Since the number of uninsured will rise, the costs will be passed on to the employers’ health insurance costs. And so it goes, like a domino-effect, with no relief in the near future.
I Think It's Time for Health Reform
These circumstances, I believe, set the stage for some badly-needed health reform in the form of cost containment or government subsidy. However, these reforms will not happen overnight. In fact, we may not see the fruits of the health care changes until 2012 or later. And retirees may see cutbacks in some of their current benefits. If health care reform was ever needed, it is certainly now. We need to encourage our lawmakers to push to get these changes enacted before more and more people fall through the cracks by having to drop their health insurance.
These are the current problems as I see them: