Senate Democrats

The Need for Health Care Reform by the Numbers

Health reform is urgent; now is the time to act.

·         Every day that we fail to act, 14,000 Americans lose their health insurance.

·         Every hour we fail to act, 171 Americans lose their homes to foreclosure due to medical causes.

·         Every 90 seconds that we fail to act, a family files for bankruptcy due to medical bills that they cannot pay.

Health care costs will continue to skyrocket if we do not act.

·         In 2000, family health insurance purchased through an employer was $6,772.

·         In 2008, it cost $12,680.

·         If we do not act, by 2016, family health insurance is expected to cost $24,291.

Insured Americans pay a ‘hidden health tax.’

·         When the uninsured cannot pay for the medical care they desperately need, these costs are shifted to those who can pay. This ‘hidden health tax’ increases family insurance premiums by $1,100 per year and increases individual insurance premiums by $410 per year.

Health reform is economic reform.

·         The United States loses as much as $207 billion in lost economic productivity due to the poor health and shorter lifespan of the uninsured. 

·         This means our economy loses as much as $4,541 per uninsured American, a figure most experts place well below the cost of actually providing coverage for the uninsured.

·         A one percent increase in unemployment means the number of uninsured Americans grows by 1.1 million, and Medicaid and CHIP enrollment increases by one million.

We are not getting what we pay for.

·         In 2007, the United States spent $2.2 trillion on health care, which represents $7,421 per person or 16.2 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

·         This is nearly twice the average of other developed nations.

·         Yet, the United States ranks 29th in the world in infant mortality, with an infant mortality rate that has remained virtually unchanged since 2000.

·         An insurance company practice of retroactively canceling health insurance is becoming more common.  House committee investigators found a total of 19,776 rescissions from three insurers over five years, which saved the insurers $300 million.

We have inherited a health care cost crisis from Republicans.

·         Over the past nine years, premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance have doubled, rising three times faster than wages.

·         In 2007 and 2008, 86.7 million Americans – one out of every three Americans under 65 – went without health insurance for some period of time.