Health costs continue to grow faster than the economy’s ability to pay for them. Partly as a result, high deductibles — what patients pay before insurance kicks in — have become widespread in employer and individual plans alike. Neither have much to do with the health law, said Don Berwick, who was acting Medicare administrator early in the Obama administration.
Republicans “managed to make the public think Obamacare was causing all the trouble. That is absolutely wrong,” he said. “They could repeal it tomorrow and still have a broken delivery system and costs would continue to go up.”
Berwick nails it: dead bang on. Health care reform no matter which administration is in charge cannot succeed unless it bends the cost curve of inexorably rising utilization costs. It’s not enough to expand insurance coverage. We have to move away from a culture that conflates health care (something individuals can only provide for themselves by leading healthy lifestyles) with the consumption of medical care (the point of health care is to avoid the need for it to the maximum extent possible).
Need a speaker or webinar presenter on the Affordable Care Act and the outlook for health care reform? Contact Pilot Healthcare Strategies Principal Fred Pilot by email