Yes, President Obama’s birthday is today, and instead of clearing brush in Crawford, he WAS WORKING ON HEALTH CARE.
This just in from Ms. Hasquet:
“After meeting with President Obama today for nearly two hours, U.S. Sen. Mark Begich said health insurance reform is vital for America’s future and pledged to push for a Senate floor vote on the issue in September when Congress returns from its August recess.
Begich joined members of the Senate Democratic Caucus who met with the President for lunch at the White House today. The discussion, led by the President, focused on the need to reform the nation’s health insurance and health care systems.
“I hear horror stories nearly every day from Alaskans who can’t afford decent health care, are being rejected by insurance companies for pre-existing conditions or are fighting with insurance companies over their medical bills,” Begich said. “It’s simply unacceptable that nearly one-fifth of Alaskans lack adequate health insurance in one of the wealthiest states in one of the richest countries in the world. There’s no excuse for not doing better.”
Begich stressed that reform is essential for individuals and the business community. In 2009, health care expenditures are approximately 18 percent of GDP, and without major reform, health care’s share of GDP will rise to 34 percent within 30 years. “That’s one-third of our economy going just to health care,” Begich said. “It’s totally unsustainable.”
In the past decade family insurance premiums have doubled in Alaska, from about $6,000 in 1997 to $12,200 in 2006 – the most recent year state-level data is available. Without reform, these premiums are expected to double again by 2016.
Begich also said Alaskans with insurance pay a hidden tax because hospitals pass on the cost of covering the uninsured – uncompensated care – to those with coverage. Nationally, the average family pays a hidden tax of $1,100 to help cover the uninsured. In Alaska, the average is $1,900 per family.”
How is that hitting you?