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Health Care and Reality

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The rising cost of health care insurance is no longer an academic, or political, discussion. The crux of the issue is economic and the need for a resolution is immediate.

Health insurance costs soared by double-digit increases again this year, taking a typical family policy at the Addison Independent with MVP from roughly $9,800 per year to more than $11,000. If the employer splits the cost 50-50 (and more and more employers simply aren’t offering the coverage) the cost is still a staggering $5,500 per employee; and the employee struggles to meet that $5,500 annual expense. As someone once said, “a thousand here, a thousand there, and pretty soon you’re talking about real money.�

Well, it is real money because we’re not talking about the federal budget or even the federal budget deficit; no, we’re talking about taking $11,000 out of the typical two-earner family income in Vermont of about $45,000 to $65,000. You don’t have to be a math wizard to understand that’s a heck of a chunk coming out of the ole paycheck; and for a business paying for its employees’ insurance (and his or her family), it’s also one big bite out of the bottom line.

That’s to say that time is running out on political tactics that delay action, ask for more studies, or pursue half-baked measures. Significant reform is needed. The candidates who propose and support a substantial, well-considered plan that changes the status-quo in a significant way will be looked on more and more favorably for no other reason than the intuitive understanding by the public that the status quo doesn’t work any more.

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