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On Health Care Reform, the "Cost of Doing Nothing" - How does your state measure up?
Adam Thompson on December 5, 2008 - 1:25pm
The New America Foundation recently issued a sobering analysis of the costs associated with failing to fundamentally reform health care in the US. The Cost of Doing Nothing: Why the Cost of Failing to Fix Our Health System is Greater than the Cost of Reform details the staggering economic costs of doing nothing and the obscene burden on families and businesses, not to mention state and local governments. The report includes state by state analyses. For example, inaction will cost Maine families and employers more than $30,000 for the average employer-sponsored family insurance policy by 2016. In South Carolina, half of all households will spend more than 62% of their incomes to buy insurance in 2016.
Even if we could maintain this staggering level of spending, will our personal health benefit? The answer is, simply, "no." We already spend more on health care per person than any other country, yet we lag far behind our peers on key health, quality, and cost of care indicators like life expectancy, preventable deaths, wait times, and administrative costs. Driving this point home, and showing that conditions are worsening for the health of Americans, is the 2008 edition of the United Health Foundation's America's Health Rankings. The report measures key health care metrics and ranks the states, with Vermont coming out on top. The report also shows that gains in health status across the US have stagnated for the fourth year in a row and are poised to take a plunge.
Check out our web-report, Health Care for All: Policy Options for 2009, for detailed coverage of model state policy options to address the problems highlighted by these reports.
New America Foundation - The Cost of Doing Nothing
United Health Foundation - America's Health Rankings, 2008
Progressive States Network - While US Olympians Excel, US Health Care Under-Performs
Progressive States Network - Health Care for All: Policy Options for 2009