Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Health Care Cost Crush

Uniform Velocity

As the pinch is being felt throughout the economy our company is also getting squeezed. Our situation is not as bad as some, but we are taking some measures such as furlough time to reduce payroll and energy saving evaluations to decrease energy costs. Unfortunately, there is an aspect that is out of management’s direct control and it is an area where people across the nation feel the pinch, Health Insurance.

This year, at open enrollment, our costs are increasing ever so slightly. Approximately an additional fifteen dollars for a family plan per pay period, but this is not the painful or shocking aspect. It was expected, with state of the financial system in the United States, that costs would go up. It was not expected that after management shopped our group plan around and kept payer costs as close as possible to current rates, our deductible would triple. This increase will bring the amount to a level that will put much preventive medicine and specialist care out of reach for many of the blue collar workers employed at the facility. Naturally, the new plan was quite shocker to everyone enrolled.

So what is the solution? Bite the bullet and incur the cost. Forgo important medical treatment that may be preventative, or highly needed because you lack the funding?

Much derision is piled upon ’single payer healthcare’ as socialized, or communist medicine. But, I will admit my agreement with the current presidential administration, looming much larger than the banking crisis and more impactful on our lives are the ballooning healthcare costs. Something must be done, and the opponents may balk at ‘paying for the welfare moms to have more babies’, but the truth is, no matter the system there will always be cheats and the good of the whole must be considered.

If the nation does not get a leash on this elephant in the room there will be a much larger impending financial crisis facing this nation and its citizens.

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