The middle class has had a 20-year income decline that fueled the recent presidential election but few talked about the fact that the healthcare hyperinflation was at least 95 percent responsible for that decline. Did you know that one definition of an economic depression is two or more years of income decline? In other words, the middle class has been in an economic depression longer than the Great Depression.
Do-it-Yourself Health Reformers are saving America one community at a time. We can fix healthcare, it’s entirely possible to solve what many consider unsolvable. In fact, it’s being done in every corner of the country.
For too long, we’ve let healthcare crush the American Dream. We can’t stand for 20 more years of an economic depression for the middle class. Now, it’s on us to fix it. When change happens community by community, it’s impossible to stop.
Do you think the American economy has recovered? Well if you look at the middle class, think again. Middle class income has been declining for 20 years. Remember, most of the middle class gets health benefits through their jobs. Healthcare is, by far, the biggest reason why 70 percent of households have less than in $1,000 savings. The problem isn’t that employers have been stingy over the last 20 years. Employers are spending far more on employees than ever before. The problem is that employers have mismanaged the way they purchase health benefits and health care costs have eaten up all of that increased spending.
However, there’s great news. Employers large and small, in rural and urban communities, in the private and public sector in every corner of the country are solving this societal problem. The non-profit I co-founded states “Healthcare is already fixed. Join us to scale the fixes.” I recently published CEO’s Guide to Restoring the American Dream: How to Deliver World Class Health Care to Your Employees at Half the Cost. In that book we share the open source blueprint for how organizations are solving healthcare one community at a time. These employers are spending up to 55 percent less per capita on health benefits that are superior to what 99 percent of Americans receive. If every employer did this, it would be like a $500 Billion citizen-driven economic stimulus every year.
Americans are no longer waiting for solutions from somewhere else. We’re looking in the mirror and realizing it’s on us to restore the American Dream. Here’s the great news. Former adversaries have realized their goals are aligned. For example, in Pittsburgh, unions and management put aside old battles and rethought how to deliver great benefits to teachers. This resulted in that fact that Pittsburgh kindergartners will have $2 billion more available for education during their K-12 years than their counterparts in Philadelphia who are doing things the old way and needlessly pay 40% more for health benefits. In Pittsburgh, teachers have better salaries, better benefits, and 30% smaller classes sizes.
What can you do to help with the Healthcare challenges?
- If you’re an employee, share with your CEO that there’s a way to slash healthcare costs while improving benefits.
- If you are a leader, you can download the book for free for the blueprint on how to improve the well-being of your employees and your organization.
- You can learn more about the subject and understand the position from both sides of the conflict by searching for Healthcare at Giving Compass. For example, this healthcare reform story highlights how one employer is able to redirect money that would’ve otherwise been squandered in healthcare and invested it in education. The result has been a 62 percent drop in crime and more than doubling of high school grad rates!
No country has smarter or more compassionate nurses and doctors and no country has more innovators that have reinvented our country time and again. In every corner of healthcare, people went into healthcare for all the right reasons but perverse incentives and outdated approaches have shackled them. Whether we knew it or not, we all contributed to this mess.
Yes, healthcare stole the American Dream. But it’s absolutely possible to take it back. Join us to make it happen in your community.
Original Contribution by Dave Chase, CEO and co-founder of The Health Rosetta Institute
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