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KBSI Perspective
Watching health care costs rise over the past few decades has been amazing. Sometimes, I just don’t get it. A few decades ago when my first son was born he was in the hospital for the better part of a week. When I checked my wife and son out of the hospital with my Blue Cross Blue Shield card I was asked by the accounting department if I wanted to pay the hospital costs at that time or be billed. I opted to pay the entire bill. Two dollars a day for the television set in a semi-private room. The cost was $10 total. I realize that kind of care and cost will never be the same. But there was good news last week that the month of May was the slowest growth rate in overall personal health care costs in the last 50 years. The Department of Health and Human Services study showed that those of us who receive health care benefits from employers saw premiums rise only 3% from 2011 to 2012. That, according to the study, is the lowest increase since 1996. Alan Kruger, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers said, “Data from across the economy – covering consumers, government and private employers – point to the same conclusion, that health care cost growth has slowed.” I realize like everyone else that health care in this country is a political football. There are a lot of people that would like a $14 hospital bill to bring a child into the world. The good news is rates are rising more slowly. But we all need to pay attention as our health care system changes in the next several years.Health Care Costs


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