While opinions on the effects of Obamacare and the new American Health Care Act (AHCA), which some are calling “TrumpCare”, are all over the map, there is one thing we can all agree on: The cost of health care in the US is on the rise.
The real question is, is it out of control?
At this point we can accept that health insurance premiums and co-pays rose dramatically under Obamacare, pricing many Americans out of the market. Yet, questions remain about the latest “fix” recently put in place by congress. At the same time though, a number of factors have added to the ongoing cost of health care, most associated with the increased cost of health insurance.
As if more proof were needed that government intervention in virtually any area of the economy increases costs with relatively little reward, the numbers in the infographic below are disturbing, at best. (With a big “thank you” to CommonwealthFund.org)
Cost of Health Insurance Skyrockets
Further, “In the 12-month period ending in July–August 2015, 25 percent of privately insured adults had unaffordable health care costs as measured by the Affordability Index.”
- 13% of adults had premiums that were unaffordable
- 10% had unaffordable deductibles
- 11% had unaffordable out-of-pocket costs
In short, some 25% of adults in the US believe their health insurance premiums are “difficult or impossible” to pay.
Quite naturally, the increased co-pays and high deductibles that many have experienced since the advent of the ACA has affected the quality of health care that is being received. Because of these higher costs to access care, up to 40% of adults may have avoided visiting their doctor when ill. In addition, some 30% may have skipped a recommended test and another 20% or so may have avoided following up with a specialist when it was recommended by their doctor.
Even preventive care has been affected by the increased costs, with some 18% of adults surveyed saying they did not get a preventive care test because of their deductible. This, even though such screening is mandated as “free” in the ACA.
Clearly, something must be done beyond tweaks to the system, since playing around with insurance coverage has done nothing to stem the rising cost of health care.
What do you think needs to be done to improve our health care system in the US? Please, share your thoughts on this critical subject in the comments section below.