Widely-reported fact Number One: our country faces a growing health care crisis, that leaves 47 million Americans with no health insurance – an increase of 7 million people since the year 2000.
Little-reported related fact: the health care crisis not only affects the uninsured, but also the growing number of insured families who find themselves paying more and more money for policies that deliver less and less care. Out-of-pocket costs for health coverage is skyrocketing – some 61 million Americans are now in families that will spend more than 10 percent of their incomes on medical costs this year, according to a recent report by Families USA, a nonpartisan advocacy group. That’s a jump of nearly 20 million people since 2000, and the vast majority of them have insurance. More astonishing is the finding that nearly 18 million Americans are in families now paying more than 25 percent of their incomes on health costs.
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Widely-reported fact Number Two: credit card debt continues to pile upon the backs of American families, and there’s now a worrisome surge in the number of serious delinquencies and defaults.
Little-reported related fact: more and more financially-squeezed families have been paying their ever-rising health care bills with their credit cards.
These interrelated facts explain why American voters are telling pollsters and politicians that access to affordable health care is their number one domestic concern in this year’s elections. Not only does a large majority want the federal government to guarantee that every American has health coverage, but sixty percent of the people say they are willing to pay higher taxes to get it done.
For information and action on health care reform, call Families USA: 202-628-3030.
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