Despite all the cash dumped into state health insurance expansion plans, the problem continues to worsen. According to the Tribune, a study released Friday showed that “1.8 million residents were uninsured in Illinois in 2005, up about 2 percent from the year before.”
“What this tells us is even with everything Illinois is doing, this problem is getting worse,” said Michael Taitel, board president at the Gilead Outreach and Referral Center, which published the study and focuses on the uninsured.
It’s happening largely because of a well-documented, long-term trend: Fewer employers are offering medical coverage to employees and their families as insurance premiums and health-care costs soar.
Between 2001 and 2005, the portion of Illinois’ population covered by employer-based insurance fell from 74.9 percent to 72.8 percent, the Gilead Center’s analysis shows. […]
Statewide, 367,995 families with an annual income of more than $50,000 included at least one family member younger than 65 who was uninsured in 2005â€”or nearly 40 percent of all uninsured families.
The Gilead Center study can be found here [pdf file].
As if on cue, two longtime proponents of single-payer health plans penned an op-ed in the Sun-Times…
Illinois has only two options for health reform: preserve private insurance companies (and the huge systemic waste they generate), or scrap them and use the savings to cover everyone. Sadly, Blagojevich has joined President Bush, former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards, Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in offering the private insurance route.
The better approach would be to replace insurance companies with Medicare-like universal public health insurance, a system that has afforded the rest of the industrialized world better health for half our per-capita cost (or less).
Question: Do you support a single-payer system? Why or why not?