The costs of health coverage are again escalating much more rapidly than general inflation—which puts increasing pressure on wages and jobs, access to needed health care, employer and family budgets, productivity, and the global competitiveness of American firms. These are major challenges that require a serious national policy response, but unfortunately Washington is locked in battle over whether millions of Americans should have health care coverage at all.
NCHC is calling for a fresh, bipartisan approach – one that begins by preventing disruption to existing coverage and goes on to fix what’s broken in American health care overall.
The focus should be on the underlying causes of high health care costs, including the following:
- Waste and unnecessary care, largely driven by a volume-based fee-for service payment
- The high costs of prescription drugs
- The lack of coordinated care for high-cost patients
- Inadequate support for primary care, resulting in avoidable specialty care, hospital stays, and institutionalization
- Lack of investment in population health
These five factors drive high costs without adding value, and are a more constructive focus for efforts to move our health system toward better performance and more affordable costs for everyone.