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I’ve just taken a look at the latest health insurance numbers and I’m disgusted.

If anybody wants to know what’s truly killing this country's economy – it’s health insurance.

I used to pay $2,000 a year in medical costs (copays and premium). Now I pay $10,000. That loss of purchasing power is hurting every business that I might have gone to instead: car companies, restaurants, clothing stores, you name it.

Here are the terrible national figures.

In 2008, the average family plan provided by an employer cost $7,188. That’s total premium and deductible.

In 2017, the average family plan is $20,604. Again, that’s premium and deductible. (You don’t save much if you take out the deductible of $8,352 this year – but it’s important to include it, because responsible people must save that money or they’ll end up in trouble when someone in the family inevitably gets sick.)

Don’t tell me this is because of ObamaCare. The regulations added 2 percent to the cost, according to the national figures. The biggest drivers in a company’s health care plan increase are a major medical case involving one employee, and pharmaceutical costs.

If the cost of health care had risen with inflation, that $7,188 bill in 2008 would be $8,133 this year.

Imagine what our economy would look like if the average family had $12,000 more to spend every year.

Now that’s premium and deductible, so really it’s not just a savings for the family. The company that provides the health care would have saved about half of it. Suppose your company is of moderate size, with 50 employees who take the insurance. That’s $300,000 that your company would be saving. How many jobs would that create? New products? Expansions?

And then the other $6,000 on average – is there any local company that wouldn’t want its customers to have an extra $6,000 to spend?

That’s why we need to find solutions to the health care mess. It’s not just money out of our pockets. It’s money out of the economy.

You can reach Kathleen Moore at 742-3247 or kmoore@poststar.com. Follow her on Twitter @ByKathleenMoore or at her blog on www.poststar.com.

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