First published on THCB.
New data make it clear that America's employer-based health coverage system is increasingly in shambles, providing adequate coverage to a rapidly diminishing percentage of the population. We can fix it or replace it but, for the good of the nation, we need to do one or the other. To let it languish causes enormous unnecessary suffering and cost.
A detailed new study from the Economics Policy Institute confirms what many of us suspect but haven't had the data to easily nail down. This weightily titled report by Jared Bernstein and Heidi Shierholz - A Decade of Decline: The Erosion of Employer-Provided Health Care in the United States and California, 1995-2006 - provides more granular information about the enrollment dynamics over time in employer-sponsored health coverage than we've seen in a while. Based on an analysis of the March 2007 Current Population Survey, the numbers reported here are mostly in sync with (but deeper than) similar studies that have attempted to size the enrollment and erosion characteristics of the employer-sponsored coverage market. Strap yourself in; this isn't pretty.