Report: Without Healthcare Reform, Plight of the Uninsured Bleak - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

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NEWS_HealthcareIf health insurance costs are left unchecked, the number of uninsured Americans will increase by 10% in every state in the country and by 30% in more than half the states, according to a new report from the Department of Health and Human Services.

“Ten more years of doing nothing paints a bleak picture,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in a conference call Monday.

The number of uninsured Americans will increase by 10% in every state in the country and by 30% in more than half the states, according to “Health Insurance Reform: The Case for Change,” a state-by-state study released by HHS.

The amount of uncompensated care will more than double in 45 states, businesses in 27 states will see their premiums more than double, and fewer people will have coverage through an employer, states the report. Employer- based health costs will triple from around $10,000 per year to almost $30,000 per year by 2019, said Sebelius, referring to a study by the Business Roundtable.

In some states, healthcare reform is expected to reduce premiums for state employees. For example, Michigan, which leads the nation in unemployment at 15.1%, has 1.3 million uninsured residents. If they get insured through the national health insurance exchange, the amount of uncompensated care costs that’s shifted to the premiums of state employees will decrease, according to the report.

President Barack Obama is committed to enacting health insurance reform. Even though reform legislation has passed in the House, and U.S. Senate leaders voted to start debate on a healthcare reform bill Saturday, a bill may not reach Obama’s desk by the end of the year.

The Senate bill provides subsidies for businesses, increases competition between insurers and repeals practices that raise premiums for small businesses. It faces many challenges since Republicans believe that it is “the worst bill ever” and they say it will impose a half trillion dollars in higher taxes on small businesses and individuals.

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Marcia Wade Talbert

Marcia is a multimedia content producer focusing on technology at Black Enterprise Magazine. In this capacity she writes and assigns stories to educate readers about social media; digital integration; gadgets, apps, and software for business and professional development; minority tech startups; and careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). In 2012, she received two Salute to Excellence Awards from the National Association of Black Journalists and was recognized by Blacks in Technology (BiT) as one of the Top 10 Black achievers in the tech arena for 2011 at SXSW in Austin, Texas. She has spoken about technology on panels for New York Social Media Week, at The 2012 Rainbow/PUSH Wall Street Summit, as well as at Black Enterprise’s Entrepreneurs Conference and Women of Power Summit. In 2011, chose her as one of 28 People of Color Impacting the Social Web, and through crowdsourcing she was listed as one of BlackWeb2.0's/HP's 50 Most Notable African American Tastemakers in Social Media and Technology for 2010. Since taking on the role of Tech editor in September 2010, she has conceived and produced five cover stories on Technology and/or STEM and countless articles, videos, and slideshows online. Before joining as an interactive general assignment reporter in 2008, she freelanced with Black Enterprise beginning in 2003 while working as the technical editor at Prepared Foods magazine. There she further honed her writing skills and became an authority on food ingredients, including ingredients used in food fortification and enrichment. Meanwhile, her freelancing with Black Enterprise and helped her stay current on issues pertaining to the financial and business welfare of African Americans. As a general reporter for Black Enterprise she attended and reported on the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, where she interviewed Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor and assistant to President Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Marcia has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture with an emphasis in food science from the University of Minnesota, and a Master of Science degree in journalism from Roosevelt University in Chicago. En route to her secondary degree, she served as the editor-in-chief of the Roosevelt University Torch, a weekly, student-run newspaper. An avid photographer and videographer, Marcia is one of several employees at BLACK ENTERPRISE who interned for the publishing company as a college student. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, a food scientist; her seventeen-month-old daughter; and “The Cat”, but still considers Chicago home.