Illinois plans to spend $17,500 per person for private insurance coverage!
Submitted by Illinoisnoki1 on Fri, 03/09/2012 - 11:43
Bill Bianchi, PDA-Chicago
Illinois contracts would provide private insurance coverage costing 400% more than single payer systems
in other countries.
Recent Republican criticism of Governor Quinn's office for its handling of $7 billion worth of health insurance contracts awarded to Blue Cross Blue Shield and other insurance providers reveals the fiscal insanity of providing health care coverage through the 'free' private insurance market.
The contracts cover health insurance for more than 400,000 state employees, retirees and their family members according to Tribune reporter, Peter Frost, 3/09/12.
If the contracts are left to stand, the cost would work out to roughly $17,500 per person for insurance coverage, which is outrageously expensive coverage particularly for a state that is struggling to balance its budget.
For comparison, the rest of the industrial world spends roughly $4,000 per person for health care while achiving outcomes equal to or better than Illinois' outcomes. In other words, to provide private market health care coverage for 400,000 people, Illinois will spend over 400% more that what governments in Canada, England, Europe, Japan, Taiwan, Korea and Australia pay.
Even that comparison doesn't tell the whole story. The $4,000 per person spent by other industrialized countries includes the entire population. While the $17,500 that Illinois proposes to spend would not include people over 65, the most expensive age group who are all covered by the federal program, Medicare.
Meanwhile to help reduce the state's budget deficit, governor Quinn proposes massive cuts to the state's portion of Medicaid reimbursements. This means the working poor will get much less medical care so that the state can continue to reward private insurers with outrageous and unnecessary contracts.
Take Action: Please contact the Governor and ask him to support Illinois Single Payer bill, HB 311. It covers everyone for a fraction of the cost of private health insurance.