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National health care expenditures in the U.S. will rise to $2.5 trillion this year as businesses and families increasingly find they cannot afford health insurance or care.

From Rx for Reform

An Insurance Policy for Health Care Reform

NCHC Action Fund President and CEO, Ralph G. Neas, calls for an insurance policy for health care reform. 

Noting that last spring, leaders of the health care industry, including representatives from PhARMA, America’s Health Insurance Plans, the American Medical Association and American Hospital Association, met with President Obama and pledged to him and the American people that they would decrease the annual rate of cost increases by 1.5 percentage points to save $2 trillion or more over the next decade. Neas said the commitment that industry leaders made to the President and the American public “should be more than a photo op, press statement and promise.” Citing Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus’ piece about legislative cost containment efforts and needing a fail-safe mechanism to ensure that the rate of health care inflation is slowed, Neas urged that industry pledges to the President and the American people to control the growth of national health expenditures be codified and made enforceable as part of health reform.

 “Only enactment of a “failsafe” amendment will provide the American people with an insurance policy that health care reform will lower premiums and make quality care and coverage affordable for all,” he said.

Containing Costs and Avoiding Tax Increases While Improving Quality: Affordable Coverage and High Value Care

The National Coalition on Health Care’s recommendations, based upon the consensus view of 85 member organizations, to make the system less complex, reduce overly high prices, and create a truly competitive health care marketplace. The goal of the paper is to augment the NCHC Principles and Specifications with a more detailed and selective set of policy recommendations on cost containment and quality improvement.

National Journal Blog – Health Insurers’ 11th-Hour Outburst

How much merit is there to 11th-hour insurance industry claims that the health reform bill scheduled for a vote in the Senate Finance Committee this week would raise insurance premiums? And how big a problem is it that the industry, which had generally been cooperative in the reform effort, is now lashing out? — Marilyn Werber Serafini, NationalJournal.com

National Journal Blog – CBO’s Latest Score: An $81B Deficit Reduction

The Congressional Budget Office and the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation have issued a preliminary analysis of the Senate Finance Committee chairman’s mark for the America’s Healthy Future Act of 2009. They note it would reduce the federal budget deficits by $81 billion over the 2010-2019 period. What’s your take?

From Facts & Research

A Compendium of Federal Budget and Cost Cutting Proposals from the Health Policy Perspective

In response to the recent deficit and health care debates, NCHC has developed a Compendium of Federal Budget and Cost Cutting Proposals from the Health Policy Perspective. The Compendium, which highlights health related budget and/or deficit reduction proposals, is a quick guide to the current policy debates on the Hill and in the media.

Issue Area(s):

CostEconomic ImpactsFinancing

Retiree Health Benefits, Underfunded in 40 States

The Pew Center on the States has rolled out a report entitled, The Trillion Dollar Gap: Underfunded State Retirement Systems and the Roads to Reform. The report highlights the gap at the end of fiscal year 2008 between the $2.35 trillion states had set aside to pay for employees’ retirement benefits and the $3.35 trillion price tag of those promises. 

Issue Area(s):

CostCoverageDrug and Device Cost ContainmentEconomic ImpactsFinancingInnovationInsurancePolicy ImplementationPrevention & WellnessVulnerable Populations

CRS Summarizes Discretionary Funding, Appropiations and Fund Transfers in ACA

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) has produced summaries of the discretionary funding, appropriations and fund transfers in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).  

Issue Area(s):


One national study found that previously uninsured adults obtaining Medicare at age 65 had higher total medical costs and greater use of health services than similar Medicare beneficiaries who were previously insured.

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