Thursday, March 18, 2010

Health Care Prices Costing Jobs, Decreasing incomes and Getting worse.

The middle class is losing a lot of ground:
Hometownannapolis: The number of middle-class earners in Maryland without health insurance increased 50 percent from 2000 to 2008, according to a new report. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation yesterday released "Barely Hanging On: Middle-Class and Uninsured," which reports state by state on how much of the middle class is covered by health insurance. Nationally, there are nearly 13 million uninsured middle-income people, an increase of 2 million since 2000 … overall the nation's middle class lost insurance at a pace faster than those with either more or less income.

Foundation President Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey said in a statement. "Employers must choose between either passing on costs to workers … or paying more for their employees' coverage at the cost of (not) creating and preserving jobs."

Nationally, the average amount an employee paid for family insurance rose 81 percent in the period covered by the report, with median household income falling 2.5 percent. "What's clearly problematic for the middle class is that they're not eligible for public insurance like Medicaid," said Brian Quinn, research and evaluation officer with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. "They don't have a safety net to fall back on. It just isn't there."

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