Health Premiums Continue to Surge, Burden Falls on Workers

No one needs to pay higher premiums on health insurance, least of all those who are already paying the highest rates in the country.  In D.C. and other areas of Maryland, Obamacare is striking citizens in a severe way.  In fact, in these areas, health insurance premiums are increasing at rates that will soon undermine the purchasing power of individuals struggling to survive in a decrepit economy.

Premiums across the country have increased by an average of 41% from 2003-2009, and Maryland represents the highest end of the spectrum at an increased rate of 50%.  The staggering percentage represents a skyrocketing cost inflating three times faster than median income.

The organization behind the data, The Commonwealth Fund, supports health care overhaul, and tries to make the claim that the legislation will in fact reduce the rates that citizens will be required to pay.  It is unclear under what basis this claim is made, and it seems to be an assertion with suspect legitimacy at best.

Over the past months we have seen several studies released by pro-Obamacare organizations touting the merits of health care reform.  Interestingly enough, the vast majority of these studies have actually contradicted their hypotheses about the effect of the bill on American citizens.

For instance, Families USA, a well known liberal organization, released data investigated by the Lewin Group in October touting the benefits of the plan as providing  “one of the largest middle-income tax cuts in history.” However, in the process of the study, the research revealed that health reform would actually increase the deficit starting in 2015.  So, in the process of attempting to prove the existence of tax benefits, the study actually refuted the cornerstone of liberal support that Obamacare would begin reducing the deficit in 10 years.

Now, The Commonwealth Fund makes and even more delusional claim that health reform will serve to lower premiums, when according to the data, there is little support to establish this idea.  In fact, leading author of the report, Cathy Shoen, asserted that:

The rapid increase in health insurance premiums means that many working families have been forced to trade off pay raises just to hold onto their health benefits. The expanding share of premiums paid by workers themselves has also taken a greater cut out of paychecks.

Does that data support the argument that the legislation will benefit the economy?  Taking money out of the hands of consumers and forcing them to keep a tighter hold on their checkbooks? It’s difficult to follow the logic there.

Recent research shows that the premium increases aren’t affecting employers, they’re affecting workers….the middle class citizens that Democrats claim to be so committed to assisting.  The costs are being shrugged off by employers on the backs of their employees:

Other recent studies have shown that employers are shifting health-care costs to workers to help ride out the economic downturn.

A survey released in September by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research and Educational Trust found that workers with health benefits are paying an average of 30 percent of the premium for family coverage and 19 percent of the premium for single coverage this year, the highest in 12 years of surveys by the two organizations.

Last year, workers were paying an average of 27 percent of the premium for family coverage and 17 percent for single coverage.

Regardless of what The Commonwealth Fund suggests, there are no signs that rates will decrease in the foreseeable future, establishing a dour and unpredictable future for our economy.  All in the name of helping the very middle class that is being hit the hardest….

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