Saturday, March 20, 2010

Study shows health insurance crisis hitting middle class the hardest

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation released a study this week to coincide with "Cover the Uninsured Week." The report concludes that the recessions of the last ten years "have taken a tremendous toll on people's ability to pay for health insurance and employers' ability to offer it."

Joan Barron wrote about it in yesterday's Casper Star-Tribune:

Dan Neal, executive director of the Equality State Policy Center, a nonprofit advocacy organization, said the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation study reinforces the argument for health care reform.

"It looks like the situation is bad and getting worse," Neal said Wednesday.

The study, he said, also shows the following about Wyoming:

-- Fewer Wyoming employees are getting insurance across the board, at all income levels. The change is worse among the working poor where 12,000 fewer people have job-based health insurance.

-- More people have public-funded insurance of some kind, probably because of the growth in government services -- with more people on state, city and school district insurance programs, or from safety net programs like Medicaid.

-- Fewer people can afford individual insurance and more middle- and upper-income families have been forced to the individual market probably because they can't get insurance at work.

-- Nearly twice as many middle- and upper-income residents have no health insurance coverage compared to 2000.

"I think all of these things add up to a clear description of the need for some sort of health insurance reform that makes insurance more affordable for people, and available," Neal said. "Some people apparently have dropped insurance and they are 'flying naked.'"

No comments: