Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Is the Drug Industry an Existential Threat to the Private Health Insurance Business?

At a time when many Democrats are calling for a single-payer health insurance system, are the drug companies inadvertently driving the system on a course to that end?

Consider this.

The longtime political firewall against a single-payer system has been the satisfaction consumers have had with their employer-sponsored health insurance. Most voters have had no interest in giving up their affordable and attractive employer health benefits for the uncertainty of a one-size-fits-all government-run plan.

Employer-sponsored health insurance covers 140 million people—by far the largest part of the under-age-65 health insurance system. Most of these people are in the politically all-important middle class.

But in recent years, the employer share of premiums and out-of-pocket costs has been exploding (Willis Towers Watson, November 2018):

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