Crippling Cost of Health Insurance Fuels Middle-Class Anger

This article was originally published by the Florida Times Union in July 2019.

A steep run-up in deductibles, which have more than tripled in the last decade, has worsened inequality, fueling anger and resentment and adding to the country’s unsettled politics, an analysis shows.

Denise Wall, a Fresno-area schoolteacher with more than $2,000 in medical bills, was outraged to hear she could get free care if she quit her job and enrolled her family in Medicaid.

Brenda Bartlett, a factory worker in Nebraska, was so angry about $2,500 in medical bills she ran up using the coverage she got at work that she dropped insurance altogether.

“They don’t give a rat’s butt about people like me,” she said.

Sue Andersen, burdened with nearly $10,000 in debt through her family’s high-deductible plan, had to change jobs to find better coverage after learning she and her husband earned too much for government help in Minnesota.

“We are super middle class,” she said. “How are we stuck with everything?”

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Mark Bailey, Jr.

Mark is the Sr. Marketing Manager with The Bailey Group, the benefits and broker consultant working with the JPOFFHIT. Growing up he wanted to be a police officer so that he could play with the lights and siren whenever he wanted, but somehow he ended up in insurance.