First Person: I Am Worried About Health Care Costs

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I am worried about health care costs, both now and in the future. Who isn't these days? Since I live in the glorious state of California, everything tends to be a bit more expensive. Health care costs are no exception. A recent story suggested that some residents could see a premium increase of 30% next year. That sounds rather daunting and it does not exactly make me feel particularly good about where costs will go in the future.

Certain categories

Apparently those that will have the 30% increase are middle income people who do not have health insurance through their workplace. Something tells me that many citizens are in for a rude awakening in 2014. I am thankful that I have insurance through my job, but I still worry about my premiums going up in the future. What will stop the increases? Will the middle class continue to be squeezed by rising taxes and increases in health care premiums? So much for being rewarded for hard work.

Controlling costs

In general, I understand that quality health care is expensive. There is no way around certain costs if people want a high level of care. It is a bit cliche to blame the cold, unfeeling health care management company, but it is also hard to ignore the profit motive. I do not trust companies to put people above profits. Why would they? After all, maximizing profits is very American. As an individual consumer, I worry that companies will charge whatever they want because they know that options are limited and citizens will be forced to pay high premiums.

Incentive to be healthy

The idea of universal health care is certainly noble, but I worry that it will be abused. America is not a healthy country. We like large quantities of fatty foods, and the country as a whole is truthfully a functional alcoholic. Our country should drop alcohol for the sake of cutting down on avoidable death, but frankly we are too selfish. I exercise, watch what I eat, and avoid alcohol. I have also never smoked. Will I be rewarded for my good habits? Not exactly. There are companies that are giving employees better premiums for a healthier lifestyle, but I wonder if that will become a widespread practice, particularly at a governmental level.

I fear the cost of health care in the future. There doesn't seem to be an end in sight to the cost increases.

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