I get occasional emails from the White House. I got on the list by sending him an email once.
Today's is interesting. An email titled $1,115. That's the average MONTHLY price of employer-sponsored health care coverage. the Obama administration is trying to take this to the population at large in an attempt to spread its messages virally. Great idea.
I hope they can get the point across, which people don't seem to understand, that the "public option" does not mean we have universal socialized medicine. It just needs to be an option for people who can't afford private options.
As a freelance writer, I fall into that category. There is no health insurance program I can afford. More on that later. In the meantime, here is the letter from Nancy-Ann DeParle, a White House spokesperson.
$1,115 -- that's the average monthly premium for employer-sponsored family coverage in 2009. Annually, that amounts to $13,375, or roughly the yearly income of someone working a minimum wage job.1
It gets worse: a recent survey found that if we do nothing, over the next ten years, out-of-pocket expenses for Americans with health insurance could increase 35 percent in every state in the country.2
In an effort to put the past year's debate over health insurance reform into perspective, we're launching "Health Reform by the Numbers," an online campaign using key figures, like $1,115, to raise awareness about why we can't wait any longer for reform. We'll be sending out a new number every day. Learn what you can do to help spread the word:
$1,115 is more money than what many Americans pay for rent or mortgage. But there's more to the problem than just numbers.
Take Leslie Banks, an American mom with a daughter in college. In January of this year, she received a notice from her health insurance provider that her plan was being dropped. To keep the same benefits, the premiums for her and her daughter would more than double. Leslie was told by the insurance company that there was nothing she could do -- it was an across-the-board premium hike. If she paid the same monthly premium amount as before, the deductible would increase from $500 to $5,000, and she and her daughter would no longer have preventive care or prescription coverage.
Yesterday, Leslie introduced President Obama at a health reform event in Pennsylvania. Check out what they had to say.
It's important to raise awareness about numbers like $1,115 and stories like Leslie’s because skyrocketing health care costs impact all of us. So take a moment to forward this email to your family, friends and online networks.
With all of us working together, we'll send the message loud and clear -- the time is now for health insurance reform. It's time we made our health care system work for American families and small businesses, not just insurance companies.
Director, White House Office of Health Reform