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Medical Inflation on Intercept Trajectory with Wage Earners

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, October 25, 2010

I ask this because I don't see anything, anywhere that comes close to addressing this catastrophic rise in the cost of healthcare. The Obama Administration claims its healthcare reforms will save Americans' money. Perhaps, but we don't really know. Critics note the president's reforms are more concerned with expanding access than with containing costs. This may be true. Many of those same critics—from Congress and the private sector—have been obstructionists satisfied with the untenable status quo.

There are several versions of cost containment out there, but they all dump it back on the same source: the consumer. It doesn't matter if it's a hospital executive, a physician, a health insurance bean counter, or a CMS bureaucrat. When they talk about "cost containment," they're talking about shifting more costs onto consumers, who are nearing the breaking point.

Government contains costs by cutting Medicare/Medicaid. Providers will cover much of that lost revenue by shifting even more costs onto consumers. Health plans and employers raise premiums, co-pays, and deductibles to cover the rising cost of coverage and to discourage consumers from seeking medical care by making it unaffordable for people on a fixed wage.

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