hospital-pricing

The Middle Class Is Getting Stuck With More Of The Bill For Healthcare

Commentary on the Wall Street Journal article by Anna Louie Sussman    

While healthcare spending growth isn’t as fast as it has been in the past, who’s footing the bill is changing, the Wall Street Journal writes. And the middle class is coming out on the bottom, according to the publication.

More Government Healthcare for the Old and Poor

Despite the slowdown, as of June, healthcare spending constitutes 18.2% of gross domestic product, compared to 13.3% in 2000, according to Altarum Institute data cited by the Journal.

The government is paying a bigger share with the U.S. population aging and using Medicare, while the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act means more lower-income people get government-subsidized plans on the insurance exchanges, the publication writes.

Middle-class families, however, are spending more of their income on healthcare, according to the Journal. While the rich aren’t really concerned about healthcare cost and the poor get help from the government, middle-income families allocated 8.9% of their spending to healthcare in 2014, a 3% rise since 1984 and a larger share than the low- and high-income families, according to a Brookings Institution study cited by the publication.

Since the recession of 2007, middle-income families are spending 25% more on healthcare, Brookings senior fellow Diane Schanzenbach tells the Journal. To find the money, middle-class families are dining out less and buying less clothes, according to the publication.

Health insurers companies are behind a large part of the rise in healthcare costs borne by the middle class, as deductibles keep growing, the Journal writes. Between 2004 and 2014, deductibles have soared 256%, according to analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation cited by the publication. Pharmaceutical companies are also partially to blame, as the average price of brand-name drugs in 2015 was almost double what it was just four years prior, according to drug-benefits manager Express Scripts Holding Co. data cited by the Journal.

For middle-class families, rising costs means being extra careful about medical spending and very selective about when to see a healthcare professional, according to the Journal. For one family who spoke to the publication, it also means shopping for used clothes instead of new ones, and fishing and hunting for food to save on grocery bills. For others, it means throwing away any retirement travel plans, the Journal writes.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Posted by: The Wealthy Doctor

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The Middle Class Is Getting Stuck With More Of The Bill For Healthcare - overview

Summary: While healthcare spending growth isn’t as fast as it has been in the past, who’s footing the bill is changing, the Wall Street Journal writes. And the middle class is coming out on the bottom, according to the publication.

More Government Healthcare for the Old and Poor

Despite the slowdown, as of June, healthcare spending constitutes 18.2% of gross domestic product, compared to 13.3% in 2000, according to Altarum Institute data cited by the Journal.

The government is paying a bigger share with the U.S. population aging and using Medicare, while the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act means more lower-income people get government-subsidized plans on the insurance exchanges, the publication writes.

Middle-class families, however, are spending more of their income on healthcare, according to the Journal. While the rich aren’t really concerned about healthcare cost and the poor get help from the government, middle-income families allocated 8.9% of their spending to healthcare in 2014, a 3% rise since 1984 and a larger share than the low- and high-income families, according to a Brookings Institution study cited by the publication.

Since the recession of 2007, middle-income families are spending 25% more on healthcare, Brookings senior fellow Diane Schanzenbach tells the Journal. To find the money, middle-class families are dining out less and buying less clothes, according to the publication.

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