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'The Business of Health Care Report'

Employer Health Care Costs, Worker Deductibles Increase
12/15/2008

I’m Doug Hawthorne, CEO of Texas Health Resources, with “The Business of Health Care Report.”

In recent weeks, I have asked you to join Texas Health and our community partners in advocating for health care reform. For all its strengths, our current system of health care delivery and financing is simply not sustainable. Medicare is projected to be insolvent by 2019; millions of Americans are uninsured or underinsured; and health care costs continue to rise at several times the rate of wages and inflation.

Employers and employees across the country are feeling symptoms of the health care crisis. In 2008, the average health care premium rose five percent. Worker deductibles increased to as much as $1,000 a year or higher, according to an annual survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research and Educational Trust.

Workers' annual contributions to employer health care premiums have more than doubled since 1999. The increases come even as consumers struggle with higher food and energy costs and shrinking retirement accounts.

There is no single solution to our health care crisis. Finding answers will take all of us working together: government, business, insurance, and consumers. That’s why Texas Health convened a group of local business and community leaders in April to work collaboratively towards health care reform. To learn about the policy agenda and what you can do to help, visit TexasHealth.org/Reform.

For Texas Health Resources and its faith based family of hospitals, Texas Health Presbyterian, Texas Health Harris Methodist, and Texas Health Arlington Memorial, I’m Doug Hawthorne.

Click to listen to the taped broadcast.

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