This study reflects two things:
1) the government may not have solved the health care problem but may in fact have added to it, and
2) it seems rising costs is likely the problem, not a lack of coverage.
RAND Study: Rising Healthcare Costs Negates Americans’ Income Gains
Written by Bob Herman | September 08, 2011
Rising healthcare costs over the past decade are leaving median-income American families of four with only $95 per month in extra income, after accounting for taxes and price increases, according to a RAND Corporation study.
Between 1999 and 2009, total spending on healthcare in the United States jumped from $1.3 trillion to $2.5 trillion. Annual healthcare spending per person grew from $4,600 to roughly $8,000, the study said.
The study noted healthcare costs are visible to American families in two ways: through monthly premiums for private insurance and through out-of-pocket costs associated with co-payments, deductibles, medications and other items. However, there are two other ways healthcare costs affect families that are not as visible: the employer’s share of the family’s premium for private health insurance (effectively reducing an employee’s compensation) and federal and state taxes that go toward Medicare, Medicaid and the military healthcare system.
“Accelerating healthcare costs are a primary reason that the so many American families feel like they are just treading water financially,” said David Auerbach, the study’s lead author and an economist at the RAND Corporation, in a release. “Unless we reverse the trend, Americans increasingly will notice that health costs compromise their other spending options.”