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Healthcare leaders: Ruling no cure for spiraling costs

Seattle Times, July 2, 2012

In coming years, patients in Washington state were going to see changes in health care—with or without the federal Affordable Care Act, now the law of the land. Long before the bitter debate over the federal law, most of which was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday, local healthcare leaders realized spiraling costs were putting health care out of reach for many businesses and individuals, as well as threatening the spending power of local governments. Healthcare costs now consume nearly a third of the state budget in Washington. Determined to reverse course, hospital CEOs, clinic administrators and physician groups have been doggedly pursuing ways to lower costs by changing the incentives that drive the healthcare industry.