Health care is consistently ranked as one of the key issues on the minds of families around the country. The 2006 Health Confidence Survey, released by the Employee Benefit Research Institute under the headline, “Dissatisfaction with Health Care System Doubles Since 1998,

According to the survey, families facing higher medical costs contribute less to their retirement plans (36%), save less in general (53%) and have trouble paying for basic necessities (28%). One in five increased their credit card debt or borrowed money to pay higher bills. Others have delayed getting medical care (44%) or filling prescriptions (22%).

The EBRI survey is revealing because it points out both that the problems with U.S. health care are getting worse at a rapid pace and that solutions need to address the high costs facing the insured as well as the uninsured. Finding those solutions should be at the top of the agenda in the 110th Congress.