Here are the opening paragraphs to an article by Jonathan Cohn on the worsening health insurance crisis in America:
It's lucky for the Bush campaign that a new government report on health insurance came out yesterday morning--lucky, because if the media weren't so preoccupied with the attacks on John Kerry's Vietnam record and the run-up to next week's Republican convention, the resulting coverage would be devastating.
The report is the annual survey on poverty from the U.S. Census Bureau, which includes statistics on who has health insurance and who doesn't. According to its estimates, last year 15.6 percent of the population, or 45 million people, were uninsured. That's up from 2002, when 15.2 percent of the population, or 43.6 million people, had no coverage. (All the information is available here.)
I've been saying for a long time since it's not an original or deep thought, I don't deserve any credit for it that the rising costs of health insurance are an important element in the poor job growth that we've been witnessing in recent years. Consequently, one way to encourage job creation is to address the health insurance issue in a serious way. Cohn has this to say on the matter:
. . . as employers have become ever more weary of subsidizing medical expenses, an ever smaller percentage of the population has gotten coverage through work. Indeed, another overlooked piece of news this month was a front-page New York Times story linking the high cost of benefits to the tepid growth in full-time jobs since the recent recession ended.
I missed that story in the Times when it first appeared. I went looking for it and found it here.
In today's Times you'll find a column by Paul Krugman that takes on the issue.