The rising cost of health care insurance is no longer an academic, or political, discussion. The crux of the issue is economic and the need for a resolution is immediate.
Health insurance costs soared by double-digit increases again this year, taking a typical family policy at the Addison Independent with MVP from roughly $9,800 per year to more than $11,000. If the employer splits the cost 50-50 (and more and more employers simply arenâ€™t offering the coverage) the cost is still a staggering $5,500 per employee; and the employee struggles to meet that $5,500 annual expense. As someone once said, â€œa thousand here, a thousand there, and pretty soon youâ€™re talking about real money.â€?
Well, it is real money because weâ€™re not talking about the federal budget or even the federal budget deficit; no, weâ€™re talking about taking $11,000 out of the typical two-earner family income in Vermont of about $45,000 to $65,000. You donâ€™t have to be a math wizard to understand thatâ€™s a heck of a chunk coming out of the ole paycheck; and for a business paying for its employeesâ€™ insurance (and his or her family), itâ€™s also one big bite out of the bottom line.
Thatâ€™s to say that time is running out on political tactics that delay action, ask for more studies, or pursue half-baked measures. Significant reform is needed. The candidates who propose and support a substantial, well-considered plan that changes the status-quo in a significant way will be looked on more and more favorably for no other reason than the intuitive understanding by the public that the status quo doesnâ€™t work any more.