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The Economic Case for Health Care Reform
June 02, 2009
12:40 PM EDT
12:40 PM EDT
This morning the White House Council of Economic Advisers issued a pivotal report entitled "The Economic Case for Health Care Reform," explaining in the greatest depth to date why health reform is vital for the future of the American economy. The release comes on the same day that the President is visiting leaders on Capitol Hill to discuss the urgency of getting the job done at this unique moment in history.
Read -- or even skim -- the full report (pdf), which is full of startling charts and analysis. The rise in costs for businesses alone is enough to demonstrate how imperative the issue is:
Christina Romer, Chair of the CEA, led the press conference announcing the report this morning, and also penned an op-ed for Yahoo! News discussing it:
Years of diagnosis on the ills of the U.S. health system have produced no cure. Health care expenditures in this country are currently 18 percent of GDP and, without change, will keep rising, until they account for nearly one-third of our total output by 2040. Even with this exorbitant bill, about 46 million Americans lack health insurance coverage today, and this number is predicted to rise to 72 million over the next three decades.
She goes on to discuss the impact bringing down costs will have on families, writing, "For a typical family of four, income would be higher than it otherwise would have been by approximately $2,600 in 2020 (in 2009 dollars) and by nearly $10,000 in 2030." But she notes that the effects are even further reaching than that, explaining how health reform can impact GDP, the deficit, unemployment, standard of living, and the labor market.