The cost of not fixing our health system…

A new Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) report today projects that if significant reform efforts are not enacted, by 2015 there could be as many as 59.7 million people uninsured nationwide – and further estimates that the number could swell to 67.6 million by 2020 – with middle-income families hardest hit. An estimated 49.4 million individuals were without health coverage in 2010. The report, conducted by researchers from the Urban Institute, was released today as a part of Cover the Uninsured Week. For more information, see http://www.covertheuninsured.org/

The analysis, conducted by the Urban Institute, shows that the middle class would suffer most without reform. The uninsured rate for middle-class families earning 200-399 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) – roughly $40,000-$75,000 a year – would rise by nine percentage points, from 19 percent to 28 percent over the next 10 years. Overall, the share of the uninsured from all families with incomes higher than about $40,000 would rise from 44 percent to 53 percent in 2020.

For employers who continued to offer health insurance benefits, an increasing amount of the costs would likely be passed on to workers. At the same time, individuals and families would face higher out-of-pocket costs for premiums and health care services. Spending for families and individuals would jump by 34 percent in 2015 and by 79 percent in 2020.

Families in California can’t afford to see our health care costs rise by more than a third in five short years. Already there are over million people in our state who lack health coverage and do not get the care they need. These individuals are forced to gamble every day that they won’t get sick or injured. Our businesses are struggling under the weight of ever increasing health care costs.

Now more than ever, we must make significant changes to our health care system to decrease costs and ensure that all Americans have quality, affordable care to keep our families healthy and financially secure.

Federal health reform legislation would benefit California immensely, by providing new and affordable choices for the uninsured, more security for the underinsured, much needed stability to our safety net, and real savings for our state budget. California needs real solutions to our health care crisis, and without reform, the future health and security of California’s families are at stake.

Health Access California promotes quality, affordable health care for all Californians.

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