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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Too little focus on health costs

BIA President Jim Roche writes in the Concord Monitor on the need to examine the costs of the health care bills making their way through Congress.
It's remarkable, therefore, that health care reform under consideration by our congressional delegation in our nation's capitol seems very likely to add to health care costs, not reduce them. What happened to "bending the cost curve" and eventually lowering it?

Pick your source - the Congressional Budget Office, the Lewin Group, the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services, and others - they conclude that health care reform legislation under consideration will, incredibly, increase costs, not lower them.

Lots of attention is being paid to expanding government programs like Medicaid, or creating new ones like a "public option" insurance plan, to cover more uninsured and underinsured individuals. Unfortunately, the federal government's long track record of grossly under-funding health care providers for their cost of caring for individuals in existing government programs like Medicaid and Medicare makes many employers understandably concerned about expanding them or creating new ones.

More under-funding from the federal government means more cost-shifting to the business community in the form of higher health insurance premiums. How is this reform?

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