Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Studies Warn Of Rising Health Insurance Costs And Numbers Of Uninsured

Recent studies underscored two essential reasons health care reform is imperative. The Kaiser Family Foundation found that costs for health care continue to mount, outstripping wages:

The Kaiser study... found that the average premium for a family policy offered at work rose above $13,300 in 2009 — up from $5,800 in 1999. The average employer paid more than $9,800 of that, while the workers contributed more than $3,500. The workers were also hit with larger co-payments and deductibles, while their policies often offered fewer benefits.

The premium increase this year was a relatively modest 5 percent, far below the 13 percent rate in two previous years. But that still far outpaced a 3.1 percent growth in wages and a small decrease in inflation. Absent meaningful reform, worse is sure to come.

Kaiser estimates that, if increases revert to the average of the last 10 years, health insurance premiums in 2019 will average a whopping $30,800, which it calls “a very scary number.” More immediately, a fifth of the employers surveyed said they are very likely to increase the amount that employees pay for premiums next year.

A Treasury Department study focused on the danger many Americans face in losing coverage:

It found that, between 1997 and 2006, 48 percent of nonelderly Americans went without health insurance for at least one month, 41 percent lacked coverage for at least six months and 36 percent were uncovered for a year or more. That happened during a decade of strong economic growth. The number of uninsured is likely to be higher over the next decade, the study warns.

The irony is that those protesting health care reform are no less vulnerable to losing coverage than anyone else. The Nation recounted how one conservative, Kenneth Gladney (above), was particularly unfortunate to have no health insurance:

Spare a thought, and maybe even a dime, for Kenneth Gladney. In August he and other members of the right-wing St. Louis Tea Party arrived at a town-hall meeting organized by Missouri Democrat Russ Carnahan to lobby against universal healthcare. In the spirit of this fraught summer, a fight broke out, ending in six arrests.

Who threw the first punch depends on whom you ask. But who got the worst of it was fairly clear. Gladney was taken to the emergency room with injuries to his knee, back, elbow, shoulder and face and ended up in a wheelchair. His troubles were just beginning. Recently laid off, this particular anti-health reform protester, it turned out, had no health insurance. Last heard, he was still accepting donations for his medical expenses.

1 comment:

Eric Pearson said...

I noticed the Tennessee Democratic Party website doesn’t list Congressman Jim Cooper as a declared Democratic candidate for 2010. So I called his office in Nashville and they said Congressman Jim Cooper is a declared Democratic candidate for 2010. I suspect the Tennessee Democratic Party website has left him off the list because they don’t want to help endorse him again.

For example:

Jim Cooper does not support habeas corpus for prisoners at Guantanamo, and has refused to support legislation to close Guantanamo.

Jim Cooper has refused to support the “Restoring the Constitution Act of 2007,” which would make “significant changes to provisions of the Military Commissions Act of 2006 by restoring the writ of habeas corpus for individuals held under U.S. jurisdiction, narrowing the definition of an unlawful enemy combatant, preventing the use of evidence gained through torture and coercion, and requiring the U.S. to abide to its Geneva Convention obligations.” More importantly, Jim Cooper has declined to sign onto legislation that requires the U.S. to live up to the Geneva Conventions.

Jim Cooper has refused to support efforts to find a diplomatic solution to the conflict in Iraq.

Jim Cooper supports continuing the U.S. aggression in Iraq, he is against insisting on Congressional oversight of the war effort, and wants to give the NSA a pass to go around the FISA Courts.

Jim Cooper refused to support legislation that would hold mercenaries (a/k/a “contractors”) to the same standards of conduct expected of American soldiers.

Jim Cooper has refused to push for a ban on cluster bombs used in the vicinity of civilians.

Jim Cooper has refused to support legislation that would ban the so-called “outsourcing” of torture.

Jim Cooper has refused to sign onto legislation that would investigate and probably reign in WHINSEC, the U.S. government’s notorious training school for torturers and terrorists.
Jim Cooper isn't interested in repealing the so-called “Real ID” act. In case you have not heard, “Real ID” was slipped through into law without debate a few years ago. It gives states a very expensive unfunded mandate to create a national ID card, and many privacy experts see the database it is supposed to create as an invitation to snooping and identity theft.

Jim Cooper has failed to achieve a leadership position within the U.S. House of Representatives over the past six years in office.

Jim Cooper voted for the $825 billion economic stimulus package without reading it first.

Jim Cooper refused to have hometown meetings with the citizens of his community on the issue of Health Care.


Hint: It’s not the voters of Nashville and Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District, who strongly support a public option. Here are the industries who have donated to Jim Cooper’s campaigns, according to

$651,803 Lawyers/Law Firms
$502,323 Securities & Investment
$216,255 Real Estate
$197,306 Retired
$184,759 INSURANCE
$128,930 Misc Finance
$125,398 MISC HEALTH
$112,050 Commercial Banks
$107,696 Accountants
$105,107 Education
That totals up to almost $1 million for Jim Cooper from health care special interests!

No wonder Congressman Jim Cooper is fighting for them — and and not for his constituents — when it comes to health care.

More information about Congressman Jim Cooper can be seen at: