10/15/2005

Insuring Yourself

I found this article called “Insuring Yourself” it stated that the number of Americans without health insurance has risen by 800,000 just last year, reaching an all time high of 45.8 million. Of those 45.8 million more than 21 million were full-time employees. With the rising costs of health care employers are asking their employees to bear some of the burden for insurance premiums. Some people have chosen to purchase their own insurance through licensed companies in their state. There are only about five percent of Americans who are doing this, but this number is expected to rise in the next few years. This article kind of scared me. I can’t believe that there are that many people in America without insurance. Insurance is expensive, but with the increasing cost of health care I think that it is very necessary to have. In another class I learned that the Europeans just pay higher taxes and get their health care for free. You would think that if that was the case the health care would not be so good, but the Europeans think that it is great. Would you rather pay higher taxes in order to get your health care for free?

7 comments:

Savannah said...

The cost of healthcare has gone through the roof in the last couple of years so I can see why companies are asking employees to shoulder some of the burden. The problem is that many Americans don’t foresee any major medical problems so they are willing to risk not having insurance. I don’t know exactly what should be done but something has got to give or the number of Americans without healthcare will just continue to increase.

Morgan said...

The state of healthcare in the United States is nothing but a sham! Without a doubt, the government should step in, and nationalize healthcare. Over 15% of Americans have no healthcare of any kind, and that's true insanity! For an industrialized nation not to provide a basic necessity to their people should be an embarrassment to this country. I would much rather have my taxes go to financing my health than to financing a war. Also, think of all the people that could start their own businesses, or could start working again. GDP could sky rocket!! When I think of all the entrepreneurial opportunities that are foregone because people can't afford to purchase their own health insurance, I am saddened. I pray America can step up to the plate, and do what's in the best interest of their citizens.

sara said...

I would not be willing to pay more taxes for government run health care. I think that the market system is far more efficient in administering health care to the public. Just look at the United States Postal Service. Everybody knows that the efficiency of USPS is a big joke. On the other hand, my Dad just told me that in 3 months when I graduate I automatically get removed from his health plan and I have to get my own. I am not excited to have to pay for health insurance but I still think it is better in the private sector of business.

ethan said...

The company that I work for provides health insurance for me. The problem that I see with paying more taxes is that I would basically loose $7,000 a year. That is the price of the benefits that my company provides. I know that I’m not the only person who gets these benefits and a lot of people would be mad.

Alex said...

It would scare me to death not to have insurance. I think it is a necessity, and those who don't have it are crazy. I know it costs a lot to have if you don't ever need it, but if something ever happens where you do, those costs will most likely out way the insurance prices. Having higher taxes and just getting health care for free sounds pretty good to me. Just as long as there is something backing up my unfortunate bad luck.

Dr. Tufte said...

With respect to the issue of employers wanting us to pay more we should keep in mind that it is pretty weird that our employers buy anything for us in the first place.

Morgan makes the common mistake of claiming that lack of insurance and lack of health care are the same thing. They're not. This is about who pays, not whether or not they get service. You could just as easily say that 85% of the population is forbidden from doing comparison shopping for medical care. That doesn't sound very nice, does it?

This is no knock on Taylor - who discusses the issue from a pretty common perspective - but I'd like to take this discussion in a different direction.

I have two points. First, health care is expensive because it works. Second, health care is a luxury and we should expect its share of income to go up as our incomes do.

Health care is a big part of our budgets because we want what we are paying for. If it didn't work, not only would it be cheap, but we wouldn't want it. Critcizing U.S. health care because we spend so much on it is like saying people who by Mercedes should get a rebate because their payments are a large.

Secondly, there is overwhelming evidence that people consider health care a luxury (the income elasticity is in the range of 2). This means that if our economy grows by 10% our health care spending will grow by 20%. This also means that people who think we ought to spend less on health care would be satisfied if we got poorer. That's idiotic, but so is worrying about how much rich people pay for luxuries.

Blue Cross of California said...

I agree everyone needs to realize how important health insurance is and find a way to insure yourself. Health coverage can be a great aspect to many lives.