Soaring Health Care Costs
Byline: The Register-Guard
A new survey of the rising cost of health benefits reinforces President Obama's argument that "doing nothing" on health care reform is not a viable option.
Released Tuesday, the survey of more than 2,000 private firms and public employers was conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation and Health Research & Educational Trust. Obama should use its findings to persuade wary Americans who say they don't want health care reform because they are satisfied with their health care coverage. Based on the survey results, the reform skeptics soon may find that their current coverage will cost them more money and that their employers may decide they no longer can afford to offer it.
Forty percent of employers surveyed said they are likely to increase the amount their workers pay out of pocket for doctor visits. Nearly as many said they plan to raise annual deductibles and the amount workers pay for prescription drugs.
If that sounds familiar, it's because it's a continuation of trends that have saddled many Americans with rising premiums and greater cost-sharing as employers shift more of the burden - or worse, drop coverage altogether.
Nine percent of employers surveyed said they plan to tighten eligibility for health benefits, and 8 percent said they intend to drop coverage entirely. …