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Health care costs in MO outpace income

By Maria Hickey, KWMU

St. Louis, MO. – The cost of health care far outpaced the workers' earnings in Missouri from 2000 to 2007 according to a national report.

Families USA found that health care premiums for family coverage increased by more than 76 percent on average, while median earnings rose a little more than 17 percent during the same time.

Executive Director Ron Pollack says Missouri fared slightly better than the national averages.

"But I'm not sure there are too many people in Missouri who would take too much pleasure in the numbers since they grew so much faster than the earnings," Pollack said.

The national average increase in the cost of health care was about 78 percent, while earnings increased by more than 14 percent between 2000 and 2007.

Pollack says at the same time deductibles and co-pays also were increasing while the level of coverage tended to slip.

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