So, What if We don’t Pass Healthcare Reform?

Joanne Wojcik over at the Benefits Beat blog on the Business Insurance website recently posted an article that may be of some interest to readers of this blog.

In a post entitled “What if we don’t pass health reform?”, she points out that flat out opposition to health care reform may not be an option.

Citing an Economic Policy Institute report released last week, Wojcik notes that the escalating cost of the current system is placing a strain that on employers, families and individuals. The report, “Employer-sponsored health insurance erosion continues,” shows that employer-sponsored health care coverage has declined every year since 2000, leaving a disproportionate number of young, Hispanic, lower-educated and lower-income people uninsured.

Wojcik writes that the report  projects that another 10 million people could be without employer-sponsored insurance by 2010 unless the economy makes an unpredicted swift rebound or there is large-scale health reform.

The EPI report asserts that without health reform, the total number of uninsured Americans under the age of 65 could swell to more than 50 million by next year. To give us an idea of just how many people that is, the EPI points out that it’s the number of people living in California and Illinois combined.

What would this mean for health insurers? Clearly, there would be opportunities to develop some very low cost plans for the personal health insurance market. Of course, there may be a push in Congress for COBRA extensions and continuation of subsidies, but the patience of taxpayers and employers are starting to run thin.

What do you think might happen if health care reform does not happen? Leave your comment below.

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