Healthcare Costs Out of Control, Drycleaners Say

Ian P. Murphy |

CHICAGO — More than three-quarters (75.8%) of drycleaners say that the costs related to healthcare coverage and delivery have gotten “out of control,” according to a survey appearing in this month’s Wire. Only 14.1% say that healthcare costs are not growing out of control, and 10.1% aren’t sure.
The vast majority (86.9%) of drycleaners feel that some reform is necessary, although they differ on the extent of that reform. Almost half (48.5%) of drycleaners think “the healthcare system needs only minor adjustments to control growth in costs and increase access to insurance coverage.”
More than a third (38.4%) would like to see more extensive reforms, however. One-fifth (20.2%) of respondents are “in favor of healthcare reform that guarantees every American a basic level of healthcare, even if it means creating a government alternative to private insurance.” And 18.2% “support any reforms that will help me cover myself, my family and my employees without a dramatic increase in costs.” Just 13.1% say that “the nation’s healthcare system is just fine the way it is,” and are “against any attempt to reform it.”
Asked to check as many goals for healthcare reform as they wished, respondents listed “Should limit medical-malpractice lawsuits and/or cap liability claims” as the most important, with 82.8%. The second-most-important goal of healthcare reform among drycleaners was “Should preserve competition among insurers and provider choice among the insured,” with 81.8%.
More than two-thirds of respondents also listed, “Should encourage preventive care” (75.8%), “Should guarantee renewal of healthcare insurance as long as the premiums are paid” (67.7%), and “Should prevent insurers from dropping patients or capping coverage based on a pre-existing condition or the development of a serious illness” (66.7%).
Somewhat fewer answered that healthcare reform “Should eliminate exorbitant out-of-pocket expenses, co-pays and deductibles” (32.3%), “Should help extend coverage to young adults and the rest of the nation’s 46 million uninsured” (31.3%), and “Should mandate or guarantee some level of healthcare coverage for every U.S. resident” (26.3%).
Among the majority of drycleaners who offer at least full-time employees healthcare coverage (52.5%), 10.1% pay their employees’ premiums in full; 34.3% assist employees in paying the premium and 8.1% simply offer employees the option of joining the company plan. Nearly half of all survey respondents (47.5%) do not offer employees healthcare coverage.
While the American Drycleaner Wire survey presents a snapshot of readers’ viewpoints at a particular moment, it should not be considered scientific.
Subscribers to American Drycleaner’s Wire e-mails — distributed weekly — are invited to participate in an industry survey each month. The survey is conducted online via a partner website. Each survey is developed so it can be completed in 10 minutes or less. Readers are encouraged to participate, as a greater number of responses will help to better define operator opinions and industry trends.
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About the author

Ian P. Murphy

Freelance Writer

Ian P. Murphy is a freelance writer based in Chicago, and was the editor of American Drycleaner from 1999 to 2011.


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