And anyone who tells you that middle income families can easily find reasonably-priced health insurance on the open market has never had to pay for his or her own health insurance.
My new health insurance policy that I am happy to have and which, frankly, will never be any use to me unless my son or I end up in the hospital (which means I hope it will never be any use to me) is equal to almost half my mortgage payment PITI–more than half my mortgage payment PI–(30 year straight 5.75%) per month.
The main reason: spiraling health-care costs have been whacking away at their wages. Even though workers are producing more, inflation-adjusted median family income has dipped 2.6 percent — or nearly $1,000 annually since 2000.
Employees and employers are getting squeezed by the price of health care. The struggle to control health costs is viewed as crucial to improving wages and living standards for working Americans. Employers are paying more for health care and other benefits, leaving less money for pay increases. Benefits now devour 30.2 percent of employers’ compensation costs, with the remaining money going to wages, the Labor Department reported this month. That is up from 27.4 percent in 2000.