Editor's Note: Robert J. Shapiro is co-founder and chairman of Sonecon, LLC, a private firm that advises U.S. and foreign businesses, governments and non-profit organizations. He served as U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce from 1998 to 2001. The following post was originally published in The Globalist, an online world affairs magazine.
By Robert J. Shapiro, The Globalist
It has been clear for some time that, without major reforms, the U.S. healthcare system will soon impose unmanageable and unsustainable burdens on millions of middle-class Americans.
By 2016, the average family is expected to earn about $54,000. In that year, moderately-priced health insurance for a family of four will cost about $14,700. Employers will pick up much of the tab for most middle-class families.
But all of those employer payments come out of people's wages and salaries. So, adding the value of that coverage to the average family's income in 2016 - $54,000 + $14,700 = $68,700 - we see that the cost of health insurance alone will soon claim more than 21% of an average family's annual resources.