June 24, 2009

Why we need health care reform

WV, like most of the US is swamped with health care problems.

Here are some state specific factoids about the state of health care (or the lack of it) in West Virginia from Health Care for American Now:

*Health insurance premiums for West Virginia working families have skyrocketed, increasing 75 percent from 2000 to 2007.

*For family health coverage in West Virginia during that time, the average annual combined premium for employers and employees rose from $6,844 to $11,970.

*The combined cost to employers and workers of health insurance for a West Virginia family of four is equal to 30 percent of the state’s median family income. Given current trends, that share will grow to 53 percent in 2016.

*The cost of employer-sponsored health insurance in West Virginia is growing at an annual rate of 8.5 percent, compared with a 1.8 percent growth rate for income.

*About 140,000 non-elderly adults in West Virginia hold jobs that don’t offer health insurance benefits. That comprises 61 percent of all non-elderly uninsured

*In West Virginia 13.8 percent of working adults reported spending 20 percent or more of their income on out-of-pocket health care expenses in 2004, a 48.4 percent increase from three years earlier.

*Between 2000 and 2007, the median earnings of West Virginia workers increased 19 percent, from $19,876 to $23,599. During that time health insurance premiums for West Virginia working families rose four times faster than median earnings.

*In West Virginia 249,384 were uninsured in 2007.

*The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that 7.5 percent of West Virginia’s labor force was unemployed in April 2009.

*A recent report estimated that 62 percent of bankruptcies were directly related to medical bills; in West Virginia there were 5,133 non-business bankruptcies in 2008.

(Note: footnotes removed from the original document.)

Those are admittedly just WV numbers, but while things may be a little different here it's pretty much the same story all over the country.

Houston, we have a problem...

ON THAT NOTE, here's more on the strong support Americans have shown for a public option in health care reform.

GETTING ON THE BUS. El Cabrero and amigos will be attending what we hope will be a major rally for health care in DC that leaves at midnight. I hear that five buses will be going from WV alone.

GREEN JOBS are a growing sector of the economy.

"SYNTHETIC TREES" may be a way of capturing atmospheric carbon.

FAMILY FRIENDLY? Mother's Day and Father's Day have come and gone while the US lags behind other industrialized nations in paid family leave for parents.

A GREEK IDEA: call no one happy until they have died.

STRANGE DAYS in the coalfields.

THIS IS YOUR BRAIN on junk food.


1 comment:

Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

As one who basically went for more than 2 years without descent health care until be became eligible for Medicare, I can personally testify to the problems of health care in this country.