New Massachusetts, California Initiatives Could Help Curb Costs Nationwide

NCHC Writer
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July 16, 2012

Contact: Cristina Flores


New Massachusetts, California Initiatives Could Help Curb Costs Nationwide

At a National Coalition on Health Care (NCHC) Forum held on Capitol Hill today, Harvard economist David Cutler and William Kramer, an executive with Pacific Business Group on Health, briefed Washington stakeholders and policy-makers on the latest thinking about how to curb costs while expanding coverage from state level reformers in Massachusetts and large employers in California.

“With SCOTUS behind us and the fiscal cliff ahead of us, it’s clear Congress should be taking some pages out of the playbooks these states are using, ” stated John Rother, NCHC’s President and CEO.

Cutler, a respected health economist, described the package of aggressive new payment, market, and administrative reforms nearing enactment in Massachusetts.

“Massachusetts wants to be the leader on health costs as we were with coverage. This involves changing payment from fee-for-service to bundled care and increasing the ability of consumers to shop around on price and quality,” said Cutler.

Kramer noted large employers’ frustration with the pace of efforts to rein in growth in the cost of medical care, and laid out steps that Medicare and the federal government could take to turbocharge those efforts.

According to Kramer, “Regardless of whether large employers supported or opposed the ACA, on the day after the Supreme Court ruling they woke up facing the same problem they had the day before: rising and unsustainable costs.  Health reform won’t be complete until we find a way to contain the costs of our health care system.”

Today’s event is the fourth of an ongoing series of NCHC Forums, designed to bring together thought leaders, policymakers and stakeholders for timely public discussions about the future of America’s health system.


July 16 – Forum on Strategies from MA and CA

Bill Kramer presentation

David Cutler Presentation