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Report: Health Insurance Premiums Rise by 90% in Virginia

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Monday, August 24, 2009   

RICHMOND, Va. - Health care insurance premiums for the average Virginia family have gone up 89.9 percent over the last 10 years, according to a new study by the consumer health group Families USA. Burt Glass of the Virginia Organizing Project notes that wages have risen only 27 percent over that same time period.

"With health care premiums going through the roof, it's clear we can't wait on real health care reform. I don't think nibbling around the edges of reform will be enough."

Glass says that a publicly supported health care system, like the current Medicare system for seniors, would rein in for-profit health insurance companies and their sky-high costs. High prices for health care and refusal of coverage for nearly 50 million Americans are the two key reasons cited for overhauling health care. Opponents of any changes contend that expanding coverage to everyone would be too costly.

Glass says giving health insurance companies competition would result in streamlining the health care system and thus would limit costs.

"To turn things around, we need real competition for insurance companies. The only way to offer that is the public insurance option."

Glass says the public insurance option would be similar to Medicare, the widely popular, single-payer health plan available to every Virginian over the age of 65.

The report is available from Families USA at www.FamiliesUSA.org or by calling 202-628-3030.




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