WASHINGTON D.C.–Today, the National Coalition on Health Care (NCHC) released “Health Costs and the American Family: A Report Card on the 113th Congress,” finding that despite strong bipartisan efforts, this Congress has yet to make the grade in curbing health care costs.
The seven-page report card grades actions taken by the 113 Congress in three areas of health policy where common-ground, bipartisan solutions were possible: modernizing physician payment and SGR repeal, price and quality transparency, and strengthening Medicare. The report card concludes that Congress has so far failed to make meaningful progress toward greater health care affordability.
“Families have seen a decade’s worth of income gains wiped out by rising health care costs. Our elected officials have to stop arguing and instead work on taking smart, bipartisan action on issues like physician payment reform, transparency, and Medicare,” said John Rother, NCHC’s President and CEO.
NCHC’s report card goes on to document the financial burdens imposed by unchecked health care costs, finding that, in 2013, the total cost of waste and inefficiency in the US care system amounted to $3,211 per person or $12,844 for a family of four.
“Workers and businesses alike are struggling to keep up with the cost of providing coverage to their families and employees, respectively. Providers, payers, and patients are engaged in new ways to keep the cost of care within reach, but they simply cannot do it alone. In payment reform, transparency, and Medicare, a few Congressional champions have put compromise ahead of partisanship to make progress toward a higher-performing health system. It’s time Congress as a whole does the same,” said Chris Dawe, a Senior Advisor to NCHC and former health policy advisor in the Obama White House.
The report card also urges Congress to take action on these issues in the approaching lame duck session, while announcing NCHC’s plans to work with health care provider, payer, and consumer groups on an aggressive agenda for the next Congress. The document concludes by stating that health care stakeholders will soon be on Capitol Hill “demanding results, not more rhetoric.”