Health care costs are already rising exponentially, the genomics era is about to make that even unimaginably worse and now we have tax and bankruptcy laws that will be the last straw.
Want proof it is getting really bad? We just hit an ignoble milestone. The average costs of family healthcare insurance per year now exceeds the annual income of a minimum wage worker.
$10,880.00 is the cost of insuring a family of four. $10,712.00 is the income from minimum wage.
Of course, along with this rise in the cost of health insurance comes the decline in the number of companies that offer to cover health insurance costs. In 2000, according to the article, nearly 70% of all companies offered health insurance coverage to their employees. In 2005, that number has been reduced down to 60%. Most of that reduction has been due to small businesses.
As a small business owner I understand this. As we begin to grow and add employees, the search for health care insurance we can afford to offer our employees and still give them a competitive wage is getting very difficult. At a time when a small business needs every penny of revenue it brings in for payroll, infrastructure, taxes, etc. 25% of an average families income is a lot to pay for health insurance. It hurts financially and will hurt the company.
Of course small businesses are caught between a rock and a hard place. While they can not afford to cover health insurance costs and survive, the larger corporation can and can hire the good employees away. Either hurt (perhaps fatally) your company financially or lose employees to large corporations and be hurt in labor (perhaps fatally).
So health care insurance costs keep rising, about to bring on a crisis, but the Republican government sees fit only to cry of Terri Shiavo and pass tax cuts for the rich and bankruptcy laws for the powerful.
They care nothing for the individual or for small businesses.
We need universal healthcare. It's good for the individual, for the small business and for the country.
(hat tip to Kim at Alas a blog for the link.)