President-elect Barack Obama‘s plans to overhaul the U.S. health care system would cost the federal government $75 billion but would provide health insurance for 95 percent of Americans, consulting firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers said on Wednesday.
This works out to about $2,500 per newly insured person, the firm said in a report.
“The plan would increase to $1 trillion cumulatively by 2018 or approximately $130 billion per year,” the report said.
While the plan would extend health insurance to two-thirds of the 47 million people who currently lack it, the overhaul may worsen some problems, such as a shortage of primary care doctors, the analysis found.
“Unless costs are cut, growing health care costs will increase the costs of Obama’s plan dramatically over time and reduce the effectiveness of mandates. This could make the federal costs unsustainably high,” the report read.
Carmela Cantore, 78, receives a flu shot, offered free by the city of Chicago. According to an October 2008 study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, one in three Americans had difficulty paying medical bills this year. Almost half of those surveyed said they had a family member who did without their medicine or postponed or reduced their recommended medical care because of the cost.(AFP/Getty Images/File/Tim Boyle)