NPR logo White House: Rising Cost Of Insurance Leads To Hidden Tax

White House: Rising Cost Of Insurance Leads To Hidden Tax

Click to enlarge. Source: Kaiser/HRET Survey of Employer-Sponsored Health Benefits/whitehouse.gov hide caption

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Source: Kaiser/HRET Survey of Employer-Sponsored Health Benefits/whitehouse.gov

Click to enlarge.

Source: Kaiser/HRET Survey of Employer-Sponsored Health Benefits/whitehouse.gov

The cost of health insurance is far outpacing inflation and the growth in wages in all 50 states, a new White House report says. President Obama has been making a case that the nation needs to overhaul its insurance system to gain control of the costs and give Americans better access to care. With today's release the administration strikes a simple and particular note, that the current situation is not fair:

Health insurance premiums are highly variable across the country, with states experiencing premium growth of between 90% to nearly 150% over the past decade. These differences lead to inequities for families and businesses as well as underlying differences in the uninsured across states.

In the same period, wages have grown by 38 percent, inflation by 28 percent. The portion of Americans with private insurance fell by 6 percent from 2000 to 2008. The White House report says that as a result, people with coverage are paying a "hidden tax of about $1,000."

The White House continued its campaign on HealthReform.gov with report about the cost of cancer. It cites a Kaiser Family Foundation survey showing that 22 percent of people with health coverage burn through their savings after a diagnosis of cancer.

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