Anyone see the movie ‘2012’? It’s a visually impressive, although somewhat distressing, popcorn flick that plays out some of the existing theories that predict the end of the world as we know it in December 2012. If you haven’t seen it, I won’t spoil it for you, but suffice it to say if the end times occur anything close to the movie it’s not gonna be pretty.
But as bleak as ‘2012’ makes the future appear, a new report from the Urban Institute — which forecasts a future without health care reform — is just as bad.
This report assesses the changes in coverage patterns and health care costs that will occur nationally if major reforms are not enacted. The authors find that by 2015, there could be 59.7 million people uninsured. The number could swell to 67.6 million by 2020, up from an estimated 49.4 million in 2010.
In addition, premiums for both single and family policies would more than double by 2020, increasing from $4,800 to $10,300 for single policies and from $12,100 to $25,600 for family policies. Even in the best case, single premiums would rise to $7,800 and family premiums would rise to $19,500 by 2020, increasing much faster than incomes.
And as premiums rise, employer-sponsored coverage would fall just as quickly, the researchers predict. Small firm workers would see offer rates almost cut in half, dropping from 41% to 23% in 2020. Overall, the rate of employer-sponsored insurance coverage would fall from 56% in 2010 to 48% of nonelderly Americans in 2020.
Not that anyone could blame you for dropping coverage, as UI forecasts employer premium spending would increase from $430 billion in 2010 to $851 billion in 2020, a 98% increase.
Pretty scary stuff, no? Now, I’m not saying I’m for or against the current proposals preparing to be voted on (or not?) by Congress in the coming days/weeks. But, I think we can all agree the cost of doing nothing is too high to even consider. I’m sure the studio that produced ‘2012’ never would have greenlit an $851 billion budget.
Hit the comments to share your fears and predictions for what will happen if health care reform does/doesn’t pass.
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