"Nearly 47 Million Americans without Health Coverage: Is Incremental Reform Working?" 2007 ACCI Annual Conference Esther Peterson Consumer Policy Forum

Article excerpt

Esther Peterson once said:

"We have a tremendous responsibility to future generations to leave an accurate record of our history, one which lays bare not only the fact, but the process of change."

"AN ACCURATE RECORD OF OUR HISTORY" ... 2007

* 47 million Americans without any health coverage

* PRICE TAG: $65 and $130 billion annually (IOM)

* 18,000 people die/year in the US (preventable deaths) (IOM)

-- MD

"AN ACCURATE RECORD OF OUR HISTORY".... 47 million people The Uninsured

* 80% in a family with at least 1 worker

* 2/3 are below 200% FPL

* 1 in 5 uninsured are kids

* 16+% of our population is uninsured (under age 65)

* In some states--TX: 1 in 4 people are without health insurance coverage (25% of the population)

"AN ACCURATE RECORD OF OUR HISTORY" ... uninsured and underinsured

* Medical problems/illness--leading cause of personal bankruptcy (majority had health insurance) (Warren 2006)

* $45 BILLION/year cost shifting to privately insured people--$1000/family in additional premium/year (Thorpe 2006)

"AN ACCURATE RECORD OF OUR HISTORY" .... the cost of health coverage (problems broader than the uninsured)

* GM--$1500/car

* Big 3 automakers spend more on health coverage than on steel

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* Double-digit annual premium increases

* Cost-shifting (cuts in benefits, higher cost-sharing like deductibles, copay's etc.)

* Increases in the cost of health insurance outpaces inflation

"AN ACCURATE RECORD OF OUR HISTORY"

* Over 120 million people with chronic conditions

* Aging population

* Public insurance--financial pressures on programs (Medicare, and MEDICAID and SCHIP--state shortfalls--no $$)

* Industry: United CEO $1BILLION bonus

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Process for change: Incremental Reform and Financing Medical Care

* Economic impact

* Impact on our communities

* Impact on our friends and neighbors

* American values

POLITICAL REALITY NEXT STEPS

"Process of change" ... political reality

LOBBYING $$ 2006:

* Pharmaceuticals/Health Products: nearly $167 million

* Insurance: $129 million

POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS:

* Insurance: nearly $31million

* Health: $98. …