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Healthcare Overhaul Continues: Will America See Cheap Health Insurance? Posted: October 14th, 2009

By Sanford Ellowitz

Sanford Ellowitz is a New York State licensed insurance agent. He is also a Certified Financial Planner and a Certified Employee Benefit Specialist. He has over 25 years experience in the insurance and financial services industries.

The overhaul of the healthcare system enters a new phase, with the Senate Finance Committee releasing its version of a bill. The question remains, will America see cheap health insurance in the near future?

Cheap Health Insurance May Be on the Way: Healthcare Overhaul Continues

The ongoing debate about overhauling the nation's healthcare system appears to be entering a new phase, as the Senate Finance Committee is set to present its bill to the Senate this week. As debates continue, some Americans are giving up hope for cheap health insurance.

The Need for Changing the Healthcare System

In his weekly radio address President Obama called the overhaul "a critical step in rebuilding our economy." Underscoring the importance of healthcare spending to the United States economy is its $2.5 trillion annual cost. This amounts to 17.9 percent of US Gross Domestic Product. This affects every individual, with or without health insurance.


The costs of healthcare are growing ever higher, with employer paid premiums increasing by 119 percent over the last decade. The average employer sponsored health insurance premium for a family of four is over $13,000. Medical costs for seniors are also rising. This year the Medicare Hospital Insurance Trust Fund is expected to pay out more than it receives in taxes and dedicated revenue. This raises the prospects of higher taxes or cuts in service to make up the difference.


Whether this new legislation will create the cheapest health insurance plan possible is not yet clear, as any bill must first go through both houses of Congress. The ultimate form of the bill is still up in the air. One certainty is that there will be no free health insurance. A core component of the bill is that most Americans would be required to buy insurance. How that mandate will be implemented, through fines or tax penalties is yet to be determined.


Issues to be Resolved


A major hurdle to be overcome is resolving how low income individuals will be subsidized to provide them with cheap health insurance that fits in their budget. Another is a possible provision requiring employers to pay for their employees' insurance.
Of course, of greatest importance will be the question of how the cost, estimated to be $900 million over 10 years, will be paid for without enlarging the rapidly rising federal budget deficit.


Sanford Ellowitz

Sanford Ellowitz is a New York State licensed insurance agent. He is also a Certified Financial Planner and a Certified Employee Benefit Specialist. He has over 25 years experience in the insurance and financial services industries. His experience includes financial analysis, product development and marketing. He provides insurance planning and product sales.