A couple of new reports show continued bad signs regarding the health of America’s health care system. First off, a study by the National Opinion Research Center found that out of pocket health care costs for those with job-based health insurance jumped 34% between 2004 and 2007. This is an enormous increase and a particularly troubling development for those who don’t earn a ton of money and people with expensive or chronic health troubles.
In a separate study, Merritt Hawkins and Associates found that wait times to get an appointment with a family doctor or specialist have spiked since 2004. In the past few years, people in major cities have had to wait, on average, an additional week beyond what they previously had. The study blames much of the increased wait on a lack of training for primary care physicians and some specialists. Experts say the government needs to take an active role in promoting the training of more doctors to address this glaring need. These are just two new signs of the troubles we face with our current health care system and they highlight the need for reform.