365% increase in private health insurance spending

The new National Health Expenditure Trends reports that from 1988 to 2009, total health care expenditures per capita rose significantly in current dollars -- from about $2,100 per capita to a little over $5,100 per capita (see figure 3, page 4).

Private health care insurance was a key factor in this increase. The report states, "private health insurance expenditure per capita increased from $139.4 in 1988 to $648.9 in 2009." While total per capita health expenditure increased 142%, per capita private health care insurance expenditure increased 365%.

Private health care insurance went from about 6.6% of total expenditure per capita to 12.7%.

The rapid increase in private health care insurance costs is a significant problem faced by unions, as employers try to offload increasing private health insurance costs.

Privatization of health care services will compound this problem, creating even bigger incentives for employers to download those costs onto workers.  That will be bad news for unionized workers (and even worse news for non-unionized workers).

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