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Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance Decreasing Because Of High Costs

Armen Hareyan's picture

Employer-SponsoredHealth Insurance

Fewer U.S.residents younger than age 65 had health insurance through an employer between2005 and 2006 than between 2000 and 2001, largely because of cutbacks due torising health care costs, according to a study released Wednesday by the Economic Policy Institute, the Newark Star-Ledger reports. From 2005 to 2006, 63.2% of U.Sresidents younger than 65 had employer-sponsored coverage, compared with 67.7%from 2000 to 2001 (Fitzgerald, NewarkStar-Ledger, 11/1).

EPI economist Jacob Hacker said the decline stems from rising costs in a healthcare system "that is enormously wasteful, ill-targeted, inefficient andunfair." He added, "The best medical care is extremely good, but theRube Goldberg system through which that care is financed is extremely bad --and falling apart."

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Elise Gould, another EPI economist, said, "The erosion of workers in theemployer system into the public one in effect shifts the cost of employersinsuring their workers onto taxpayers." Gould also said that "withthe employer-based system clearly unraveling, it's critical that publiclyprovided coverage pick up the slack" (Thalman, Salt Lake City Deseret Morning News, 11/1).

Robert Meehan, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield ofNew Jersey vicepresident for consumer and senior markets, said the report "is not news,it's just more of the same" (NewarkStar-Ledger, 11/1).

Reprintedwith permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives, and sign upfor email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . The Kaiser Daily Health PolicyReport is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J.Kaiser Family Foundation.