Major finding...people just don't go to the doctor...and small employers continue to look for a way out..but our leadership just tells us to go to the ER room....BD 

The debate now raging over how much money the federal government should spend to provide basic health insurance for poor children is just an opening skirmish in what is likely to be an all-out war in coming months and years over how to pay for health care in America.

The challenge is finding ways to provide every American with quality affordable health care without dictating how the care will be offered.  Our failure to make progress toward that goal is causing a slow-motion health care crisis that is already threatening the well-being of millions.

Employer-provided insurance, the bedrock of health insurance, is eroding. Many companies, particularly smaller firms, faced with fast-rising health insurance expenses are asking workers to cover some of the cost, are limiting benefits or dropping insurance plans altogether. Thirty-nine percent of firms in the United States didn't offer health insurance at all in 2006 and 41.9 percent of "wage and salary" workers aged 18 to 64 were not offered health coverage through their own employers.

Still, a significant number of workers are balking at the rising costs of employer-sponsored insurance. Premiums for a family of four paid for by workers increased almost 12 percent between 2004 and 2005 -- from $222 a month to $248. Almost two out of three workers who chose not to participate in their employer's health plan in 2002 said the plan was too costly.

Health care crisis --


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