This is the time of the year when workers covered by employer-sponsored health insurance select their coverage and find out how much their premiums will increase. They are not getting good news. In the San Joaquin Valley, premium increases will be about 10-15%, according to a Bee story.
These increases cut into worker pay and add to employer costs because the vast majority of the premiums are paid by the companies. This part of the health insurance system is one more reason that we must curtail the skyrocketing cost of care.
We aren't persuaded that the health care reform package in Congress is the answer. We hold out hope that the final version of a health care reform bill will improve the current broken system, and not make it worse. The House is expected to vote on a Democratic bill this week and the Senate version has yet to be scheduled for a vote. The Republicans also have separate health care bills.
We are in a health care crisis, yet the Democrats and Republicans are unwilling to find common ground in a bipartisan bill. That says a lot about how out of touch the parties are with most Americans, who want reasonable health care reform.
There are 47 million Americans without health insurance, and we all pay for their health care through our taxes and in increased insurance premiums. We must find a way to cover them at a cost that doesn't break the U.S. treasury.
To read the complete editorial, visit The Fresno Bee.