Some unpretty health care spending projections:
If health insurance premiums and national wages continue to grow at recent rates and the US health system makes no major structural changes, the average cost of a family health insurance premium will equal 50% of the household income by the year 2021, and surpass the average household income by the year 2033. If out-of-pocket costs are added to the premium costs, the 50% threshold is crossed by 2018 and exceeds household income by 2030.
Without major structural changes in the US health care system, the employee contribution to a family premium plus out-of-pocket costs will comprise one half of the household income by 2031 and total income by 2042. Rising health-care costs remain at the core of this unsustainable rise in insurance premiums.
Health care costs have moderated over the last year, but long-term trends, who knows?
The IATSE and producers will be wrestling over who pays what for union health coverage over the next three years when they sit down to negotiate five days hence. I would guess that companies and union members will both be paying more -- a combination of "plan redesign" (otherwise known as cost shifting, premium payments for participants, and higher contributions for companies.
Me, I think sooner or later we'll have some variation of a single-payer system, simply because health costs will crush any other approach. The head of a large health insurer agrees:
Mark Bertolini, CEO and Chairman of Aetna Insurance, announced that the end is near for profit driven health insurance companies. “The system doesn’t work, it’s broke today. The end of insurance companies, the way we’ve run the business in the past, is here.” ...
When the day arrives that few in the great middle can afford hospitalization or a doctor's visit, we'll move to a new system. Because the alternative will be untenable.