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This week we’re featuring “Health Reform by the Numbers,” an online campaign using key figures to raise awareness about why we just can’t wait for reform. Today's number: 1.

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  • 1 -- in every six dollars in the U.S. economy is spent on health care today. [Source]
  • If we do nothing, in 30 years, 1 out of every three dollars in our economy will be tied up in the health care system. [Source]

Yesterday, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Urban Institute, non-partisan research organizations, released a report analyzing the cost of maintaining the status quo on health care. Here’s just a sample of what they believe we could be facing in the years ahead:

  • Families will face dramatically higher health care costs. Individual and family spending on premiums and out-of-pocket health care costs will increase significantly. Spending would jump 34 percent by 2015 and 79 percent by 2020.
  • Premiums will become increasingly expensive for employers and their workers. Premiums for both single and family policies would more than double by 2020, increasing from $4,800 to $10,300 for single policies, and from $12,100 to $25,600 for family policies.
  • Employers will see large increases in premium costs. Employer spending on premiums would increase from $430 billion in 2010 to $851 billion in 2020 -- a 98 percent increase.
  • Many small and medium sized firms would quit offering health care coverage to workers. As premiums nearly double, employees in small firms would see offers of health insurance almost cut in half, dropping from 41 percent of firms offering insurance in 2010 to 23 percent in 2020. Medium-sized firms would also cut offers of health insurance, dropping from 90 percent in 2010 to 75 percent in 2020.

It’s clear: the cost of doing nothing is too high. The time is now to reform our broken health care system.

Today’s number, 1, is the latest in ‘Health Reform by the Numbers,’ our online campaign to raise awareness about why the time is now for health insurance reform. You can follow the campaign on and social networks like Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and LinkedIn.

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