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Post-Recession Incomes Will Be Hit Hard by Health Care Spending for Middle Class Working Families, PENN Analysis Shows
Date:7/31/2009

ll three cases per capita health care expenditures have grown at a rate of three percent, income has been growing at a slower rate for middle income families: 0.6 percent for the $48,000 household, one percent for the $97,000 household, and 1.5 percent for the $175,000 household. Faster income growth, coupled with a smaller percentage of income going toward health care, enables higher-income households to more easily absorb increases in health care costs as well as have more money available for non-health-care goods and services than lower-income families.

According to Dr. Polsky, "Growth in employers' contributions toward health insurance premiums translates into slower growth in wages than would otherwise have occurred. Because this fact is not apparent to most families, the health care reform proposals that aim to control costs do not receive the level of support they deserve."

Dr. Grande notes: "The growth in the rate of spending on health care hits the household finances of middle-class workers harder because health care makes up a larger proportion of their budget. Progressive taxation could simultaneously address the regressive nature of health care cost growth and provide financing for health care reform. "

PENN Medicine is a $3.6 billion enterprise dedicated to the related missions of medical education, biomedical research, and excellence in patient care. PENN Medicine consists of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (founded in 1765 as the nation's first medical school) and the University of Pennsylvania Health System.

Penn's School of Medicine is currently ranked #3 in the nation in U.S. News & World Report's survey of top research-oriented medical schools; and, according to the National Institutes of Health, received over $366 million in NIH grants (exclud
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SOURCE PENN Medicine
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