October 5, 2009

The Cost of Health Care Reform "Centrism"

[Click image to view original]

As the Senate Finance Commitee bill continues - for some bizarre reason - to be at the center of the health care reform debate, additional information has emerged about the dramatic societal price to be paid for the half measures championed by Chairman Max Baucus.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation notes that researchers from the Urban Institute have used their Health Insurance Policy Simulation Model to estimate changes in coverage and cost trends that would take place between now and 2019 if the health system is not reformed. The report shows that under the worst-case scenario, within 10 years:

  • The number of uninsured people would rise by more than 30 percent in 29 states. In every state, the number of people without insurance would jump at least 10 percent.

  • Premiums for businesses would increase, and would more than double in 27 states. Even in the best case scenario, premiums for employers would rise by more than 60% in 46 states.

  • In all 50 states, a smaller share of the population would receive health insurance through their job. In twenty-five states, the number of people with employer-provided coverage would fall by more than 10 percent.

  • Spending for Medicaid/Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) would rise by more than 75 percent in all states.

  • In 45 states, the dollar value of uncompensated health care in the system would more than double.
There will be certainly be switching costs in moving to a new system, but the lesson of recent history - President Clinton's efforts for reform being prime example - is that the bill will only get higher the longer we wait. Mr. Baucus's plan simply doesn't get the job done.

No comments: