Addressing the Wisconsin AFL-CIO Safety and Health Conference in late September, acting OSHA chief Jordan Barab chimed in on the healthcare debate with these remarks:

“Looking at the numbers, one thing is clear: The status quo of our current health insurance system is unsustainable.

  • ”Skyrocketing costs are squeezing family budgets, threatening businesses' viability, consuming state and local budgets, and exploding our national deficit.
  • ”At the same time, eroding coverage is leaving more and more Americans uninsured - one injury or illness away from bankruptcy.
  • ”And even Americans with insurance have less security and stability than ever before.
  • “The undeniable fact is: We have by far the most expensive health care system in the world.
  • ”We spend 50 percent more per person on health care than the next most costly nation.
  • ”We are now spending roughly one in every six dollars on health care. If we do nothing: in 30 years, one out of every three dollars in our economy will be tied up in the health care system.
  • ”And far too much of our spending goes to insurance bureaucracy that does nothing to improve our health.

“In the last ten years, premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance have risen 133 percent - rising three times the rate of wages.

”American businesses - especially small businesses - say high health costs are impeding their ability to compete, expand and hire more workers. Too often, they're forced to choose between covering their workers and staying afloat.

”And health care spending today consumes 30 percent more of state and local budgets than 20 years ago - forcing governments to choose between cutting services and raising taxes.

”For all Americans, the President's plan reins in the cost of health care. Health insurance reform will -
  • ”strengthen security and stability to those who have insurance
  • ”provide insurance to those who don't
  • ”slow the growth of health care costs for our families, our businesses, and our government. “