A cancer of the American dream

By Michael Thompson posted 10-04-2018 10:08 AM


Guest post by Robert Smith, executive director, Colorado Business Group on Health, written on September 7, 2018 

Earlier last week I read an article from The Washington Post titled Where Did Our Raises Go? To Health Care. The piece not only pointed out that health care increases are usurping salary increases for middle class workers and that, “for the bottom 60 percent of US workers, wage gains have been completely wiped out by contributions for employer-provided health insurance.”

The above noted article was based on a report released on August 31 citing how “rising health care costs are diminishing US workers’ take-home pay and putting the American Dream further out of reach, particularly for lower income earners.” This analysis released by the Council for Affordable Health Coverage and Willis Towers Watson with the strikingly strong title, Health Care USA: A Cancer on the American Dream, depicts how health care costs have eclipsed compensation growth and whittled away at Americans’ disposable earnings, concentrating income among the wealthiest Americans.

This research and the resulting coverage, it would seem, support the argument that health care costs -- increasingly due to health care pricing and over utilization in a supply-side driven industry -- represent the single biggest deterrent to economic development in our communities and state, not to mention to the burden on our organizations and employees.