Increase in health care costs wiped out virtually all middle class income gains in the past decade

Ezra Klein:

A new study in the journal Health Affairs games out how steep health cost growths have decimated a full decade of increased earnings. It focuses on a middle-income family of four with employer-sponsored health insurance.

Overall, that middle-income family saw its income go up by $23,000, from $76,000 in 1999 to $99,000 in 2009 — not too bad. But rising health-care costs, in the form of increased insurance premiums and co-pays, ate up nearly all of that. Factor in that spending, and the average family only had $95 per month more in available income than it did a decade ago.

This picture could look a lot different. If health costs grew just 1 percent faster than inflation, for example, the same family would have $335 more in available earnings each month. Get health costs to keep pace with inflation and you’re looking at a $545 bump in monthly income.

Holy cow! Those are some big numbers. Of course, the President’s much maligned healthcare program, the memorably named Affordable Care Act — or “Obamacare” to almost everyone — has already started to bend the medical inflation curve downward, as noted weeks ago. Perhaps the President should tell someone.


About Guy N. Texas

Guy N. Texas is the pen name of a lawyer living in Dallas, who is now a liberal. He was once conservative, but this word has so morphed in meaning that he can no longer call himself that in good conscience. Guy has no political aspirations. He speaks only for himself.
This entry was posted in Budget, Economics, Healthcare, Income inequality, News, Presidential rhetoric. Bookmark the permalink.

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