KEY TAKEAWAY: Sen Sanders asked social media users to tell him about their experiences with universal health care and Twitter had so many posts it was hard to keep up. As drug makers continue to please Wall Street at the expense of patients Universal Health Care could become a reality.
Will these posts resonate with American health care consumers? Only if they have had the unfortunate experience of becoming a health care patient.
The cost of health care has risen much faster than inflation alone can explain. Healthcare spending in 2007 came to $7,700 per person in the U.S., and by 2015 that number had risen 29% to $9,990 per person. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services project that health spending will continue to increase at an average rate of 5.6% per year for the next 10 years. How can the average American afford to spend that much on health care?
The average premium for an employer-provided family plan is now $17,545, up from $16,834 last year and from $10,880 in 2005. And workers have been paying a greater share of those premiums. Deductibles, meanwhile, have skyrocketed. The average deductible for all covered workers this year is $1,077, up 67 percent from $646 in 2010. And as high deductible plans are becoming increasingly popular with employers, more employees are enrolled in them than ever. The percentage of employees who are in plans with an annual deductible of $1,000 or more has grown from 27 percent in 2010 to 46 percent in 2015.
Now consider this: Gilead’s margin on sales was reported to be 43% for a drug that they purchased from an individual who was supposed to be helping the VA. Gilead used that money to purchase another company for billions of dollars, in cash, on the backs of you and I via insurers. How can anyone who works for Gilead hold their head up knowing that patients are being denied treatment to please Wall Steet?