Families USA examined health care costs for families in four states, including Arkansas, Missouri, New Hampshire, and my home state of Pennsylvania.

Nationally, one in four Americans under 65 will spend more than 10% of their income on health care next year.

Take a look at the report on Pennsylvania. In the state reside over 2 million people who are under 65, 87% of them are insured, and more than 18% of these families will spend over 10% of pre-tax household income on health care costs in 2008. In addition, nearly 5% of Pennsylvania’s families will spend over 25% of pre-tax income on health care costs in 2008.

The Lewin Group did the calculations on behalf of Families USA. The advocacy group is documenting these costs to inform voters for the 2008 elections. The organization is underscoring the fact that cost burdens are a problem for both insured and uninsured Americans, across age-cohorts — and especially among the under-65.

Families USA is also highlighting the growth of the use of credit cards for health care payment, and subsequent growth of medical debt. See Health Populi’s blog on plastic’s growing use in health care here.

Families USA is actively involved in highlighting the costs of health care for families. Last month, the group launched the website “Bush vs. Kids,” which spotlights the President’s veto of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program. Congress had passed a bipartisan compromise bill, the Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2007, that would have authorized the program for another five years. Here is Paul Simon criticizing the veto and asking those representatives who voted against the bill to reconsider.

Health Populi’s Hot Points: Health care continues to be the #1 domestic issue on the minds of Americans. Will voters enter the election booths with health as top priority in 12 months’ time? There remain several wild cards that could supplant health care: terrorism and national security; the price of gas; the role of the U.S. in global financial markets and global fiscal stability, among others. It’s still early days, but advocates like Families USA will continue to spread the word about the growing cost burden of health care on Americans.

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