Overall, it’s not a very pretty picture. Health insurance premiums for Alaskans increased 73.6 percent from 2000 to 2007. That increase is 5.7 times higher than the rise in median salaries, and to make matters even worse, out-of-pocket costs for health care not covered by health insurance also substantially increased.Alaska Dispatch has a recent article on this same problem.
However, says Davis,
The public is starting to understand that the situation cannot continue in this direction, but only a portion of the public comprehends that the trend can be reversed by instituting a single-payer health care system. The health insurance industry is ahead of the public on this issue, and is very worried that increasing health insurance costs might actually drive the country into establishing a single-payer system that would put the industry out of business.…
Hoping to fight any reform disadvantageous to itself, the health insurance industry is going on the offensive. Its trade organization, America’s Health Insurance Plans…announced a self-seeking health care reform proposal designed to maintain the industry in the profitable lifestyle to which it has become accustomed.
The gist of the proposal is that the industry will agree to insure everybody—even those with pre-existing health conditions, but that the American taxpayer will pick up a big portion of the bill. In short, it is a bail-out akin to that now being given to the financial and auto industries. However, this one will not be a one-time grant, but rather a subsidy that will last forever.