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Montana By The Numbers

Let’s look at a few numbers. There are about 46 million uninsured folks in the U.S. There are about 153,000 uninsured in Montana or about 16% of the population overall. 13.8% of all Montana children are uninsured compared to 11.3% nationwide. 25.7% of Montana’s poor children are uninsured compared to 20.4 percent in the U.S. as a whole.

Health care expenditures per capita in Montana were over $5,000 in 2004 compared to about $5,300 for the U.S. Between 1980 and 2004, the average cost of health care in Montana went up 8.8% per year, that’s about 220% over the period and that’s pretty close to the national average. How fast did your paycheck go up?

In 2007 we filled almost 11 million prescriptions in Montana at a cost of $620 million. That’s about 11 prescriptions each per year, on average if you are between 19 and 64. It averages about 29 prescriptions per year if you are 65 or over.

Average family health insurance premium for Montanans is about $11,000 dollars, of which 75% is paid by your employer, if you are lucky. You chip in around $3,000 per year. The rest you pay for in salary that you don’t get.

Cost per day to stay in a hospital in Montana runs about $975 (2007), that’s up from $519 in 1999, an 88% increase or almost 10% per year. Consider yourself lucky, nationwide the cost is almost $1,700 per day. The state of Montana spends over $7 million per year on health care for the nice folks in our jails and prisons. Montana spends almost $138 million per year on state-provided mental health care or about $146 from each citizen.deathpanel

These numbers come from the statehealthfacts.org website of the Kaiser Family Foundation, probably the most reliable source for information on the state of our health care system. These are professional polls conducted by health care folks. Nowhere in their polls will you find the terms “Obamacare“, “Death Panel“, or “Government-Run-Health Care“. They conduct regular polls on various aspects of our health care system. For 12 years, Kaiser has been conducting bi-monthly polls “tracking the public’s experiences in the health care system, their ranking of health as a policy priority, and their views on health care reform options“.

The numbers show that we desparately need to reform our health care system. Costs are out of control and people are dying needlessly. Take a look at some of the numbers and articles from the Kaiser Family Foundation. Make up your mind without the help of cable news shows and let your legislators know what you think.

I have some more interesting results from the Kaiser July poll, but I’m going to break this up into two articles so you don’t fall asleep on me.

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One Response

  1. […] Blog and The Button Valley Bugle have been kicking blog butt on healthcare: here, here, here, and […]

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