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Why California Needs Health Reform

Original post made by HeathReform.Org, another community, on Aug 10, 2009

The Health Care Status Quo:
Why California Needs Health Reform
Congress and the President are working to enact health care reform legislation that protects what works about health care and fixes what is broken. Californians know that inaction is not an option. Sky-rocketing health care costs are hurting families, forcing businesses to cut or drop health benefits, and straining state budgets. Millions are paying more for less. Families and businesses in California deserve better.

CALIFORNIANS CAN'T AFFORD THE STATUS QUO

•Roughly 19.7 million people in California get health insurance on the job1, where family premiums average $13,297, about the annual earning of a full-time minimum wage job. 2
•Since 2000 alone, average family premiums have increased by 114 percent in California.3
•Household budgets are strained by high costs: 19 percent of middle-income California families spend more than 10 percent of their income on health care.4
•High costs block access to care: 13 percent of people in California report not visiting a doctor due to high costs.5
•California businesses and families shoulder a hidden health tax of roughly $1,400 per year on premiums as a direct result of subsidizing the costs of the uninsured.6
AFFORDABLE HEALTH COVERAGE IS INCREASINGLY OUT OF REACH IN CALIFORNIA

•19 percent of people in California are uninsured, and 71 percent of them are in families with at least one full-time worker.7
•The percent of Californians with employer coverage is declining: from 58 to 54 percent between 2000 and 2007.8
•While small businesses make up 77 percent of California businesses,9 only 46 percent of them offered health coverage benefits in 2006.10
•Choice of health insurance is limited in California. Kaiser Permanente alone constitutes 24 percent of the health insurance market share in California, with the top two insurance providers accounting for 44 percent.11
•Choice is even more limited for people with pre-existing conditions. In California, premiums can vary based on demographic factors and health status, and coverage can exclude pre-existing conditions or even be denied completely in some cases.
CALIFORNIANS NEED HIGHER QUALITY, GREATER VALUE, AND MORE PREVENTATIVE CARE

•The overall quality of care in California is rated as "Average."12
•Preventative measures that could keep Californians healthier and out of the hospital are deficient, leading to problems across the age spectrum:
◦15 percent of children in California are obese.13
◦17 percent of women over the age of 50 in California have not received a mammogram in the past two years.
◦40 percent of men over the age of 50 in California have never had a colorectal cancer screening.
◦69 percent of adults over the age of 65 in California have received a flu vaccine in the past year.14
The need for reform in California and across the country is clear. California families simply can't afford the status quo and deserve better. President Obama is committed to working with Congress to pass health reform this year that reduces costs for families, businesses and government; protects people's choice of doctors, hospitals and health plans; and assures affordable, quality health care for all Americans.




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1 U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey. HIA-4 Health Insurance Coverage Status and Type of Coverage by State--All Persons: 1999 to 2007, 2007.
2 Center for Financing, Access and Cost Trends, AHRQ, Medical Expenditure Panel Survey - Insurance Component, 2006, Table X.D.
Projected 2009 premiums based on Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, "National Health Expenditure Data," available at Web Link.
3 Center for Financing, Access and Cost Trends, AHRQ, Medical Expenditure Panel Survey - Insurance Component, 2000, Table II.D.1.
Center for Financing, Access and Cost Trends, AHRQ, Medical Expenditure Panel Survey - Insurance Component, 2006, Table X.D.
Projected 2009 premiums based on Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, "National Health Expenditure Data," available at Web Link.
4 Center for Financing, Access and Cost Trends, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, 2006.
5 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey Data. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2007.
6 Furnas, B., Harbage, P. (2009). "The Cost Shift from the Uninsured." Center for American Progress.
7 U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey. Annual Social and Economic Supplements, March 2007 and 2008.
8 U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey. HIA-4 Health Insurance Coverage Status and Type of Coverage by State--All Persons: 1999 to 2007, 2007.
9 Center for Financing, Access and Cost Trends, AHRQ, Medical Expenditure Panel Survey - Insurance Component, 2006, Table II.A.1a.
10 Center for Financing, Access and Cost Trends, AHRQ, Medical Expenditure Panel Survey - Insurance Component, 2001, 2006, Table II.A.2.
11 Health Care for America Now. (2009). "Premiums Soaring in Consolidated Health Insurance Market." Health Care for America Now.
12 Agency for Health Care Research and Quality. 2007 State Snapshots. Available Web Link.
13 Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative. 2007 National Survey of Children's Health, Data Resource Center for Child and Adolescent Health.
14 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey Data. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2007.

Comments (3)

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Links
a resident of another community
on Aug 10, 2009 at 11:49 pm

Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Consider the source
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 11, 2009 at 12:36 am

Regarding the weblink provided by "Links"

This information is taken from a website that states:

"This is an official U.S. Government Web site managed by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services."

This is hardly an independent news source with unbiased stats.

So much for "citizen journalism".


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Links
a resident of another community
on Aug 11, 2009 at 1:23 am

O.K. consider the source!

The Source(s)

1 U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey. HIA-4 Health Insurance Coverage Status and Type of Coverage by State--All Persons: 1999 to 2007, 2007.


2 Center for Financing, Access and Cost Trends, AHRQ, Medical Expenditure Panel Survey - Insurance Component, 2006, Table X.D.


Projected 2009 premiums based on Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, "National Health Expenditure Data," available at Web Link.


3 Center for Financing, Access and Cost Trends, AHRQ, Medical Expenditure Panel Survey - Insurance Component, 2000, Table II.D.1.


Center for Financing, Access and Cost Trends, AHRQ, Medical Expenditure Panel Survey - Insurance Component, 2006, Table X.D.


Projected 2009 premiums based on Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, "National Health Expenditure Data," available at Web Link.


4 Center for Financing, Access and Cost Trends, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, 2006.


5 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey Data. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2007.


6 Furnas, B., Harbage, P. (2009). "The Cost Shift from the Uninsured." Center for American Progress.


7 U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey. Annual Social and Economic Supplements, March 2007 and 2008.


8 U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey. HIA-4 Health Insurance Coverage Status and Type of Coverage by State--All Persons: 1999 to 2007, 2007.


9 Center for Financing, Access and Cost Trends, AHRQ, Medical Expenditure Panel Survey - Insurance Component, 2006, Table II.A.1a.


10 Center for Financing, Access and Cost Trends, AHRQ, Medical Expenditure Panel Survey - Insurance Component, 2001, 2006, Table II.A.2.


11 Health Care for America Now. (2009). "Premiums Soaring in Consolidated Health Insurance Market." Health Care for America Now.


12 Agency for Health Care Research and Quality. 2007 State Snapshots. Available Web Link.


13 Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative. 2007 National Survey of Children's Health, Data Resource Center for Child and Adolescent Health.


14 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey Data. Atlanta, Georgia: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2007.


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