How can we afford health care reform?


People often say we can’t afford to reform our health care system. Let me throw out a data point, courtesy of the new intranet site at work that lets employees look up our own benefit info.

My health insurance, which covers three people in our family, costs approximately $20,000 a year.

That’s over 1600 a month. Now, that’s not all “employee contribution.” That’s my contribution and my employer’s added together, and that’s how it should be calculated–those fees are part of my compensation, even though they’re going into Great West’s pocket, and not mine.

Of course that doesn’t include my deductibles, my co-pays, or the things my insurance doesn’t cover. When the pediatric triage nurse told me to take my son to the ER, I went, even though our health insurance “discourages” that by making us pay way more for that sort of care. (That particular day was over $300–what the heck, the kid is worth it.)

That figure doesn’t include dental, by the way. It also doesn’t include vision. You know what else it isn’t? It isn’t the “buy-up” plan at work. I’m not getting the gold-plated coverage; I’m getting the lowest level of basic care they offer.

Twenty grand a year, just for insurance. We’re already paying a fortune.

America can do better.