Tags: health | care | reform | cost

Healthcare Overhaul Needn't Break Bank: Study

Friday, 09 Jan 2009 08:10 AM

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

CHICAGO — An analysis of proposals to overhaul U.S. healthcare by President-elect Barack Obama and members of Congress suggests it is possible to insure all Americans without raising total health spendingsignificantly .

About 46 million Americans, or about 15 percent of the population, have no health insurance. Although Americans pay more per person for care than any other industrialized country, many studies show they have poorer health, suffer more medical mistakes and are generally less happy with their medical care.

The report, which the Commonwealth Fund released Friday, suggests plans outlined by Obama and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus could cover almost all Americans.

But to hit that mark, they would need to require all Americans to obtain coverage and include efforts to cut administrative costs and boost purchasing efficiencies.

"That type of plan can get close to universal coverage at a very modest increase in national expenditures," Sara Collins of the Commonwealth Fund said in a telephone interview.

Both the Obama plan and the Baucus plan call for a national insurance exchange to provide coverage to millions of uninsured Americans, but Baucus' plan eventually would require everyone to have health insurance.

Collins and colleagues analyzed the pros and cons of both plans and other leading health reform plans Congress put forth to extend health insurance coverage.

"If you are a policymaker and you are trying to decide how to expand coverage to most people, these offer different paths to go on," Collins said.

With the nation facing a poor economic outlook, cost-saving measures become paramount.

"The really important numbers are the effects on national health expenditures. Ultimately, that determines the growth of the national healthcare budget," she said.

The plan that offers the greatest potential to ensure health coverage for all is proposed by Rep. Pete Stark, a Democrat from California, which would broaden access to Medicare.

It would cost the federal budget $188.5 billion in 2010 but would cut national health spending by $58.1 billion by covering more people under Medicare, which has far lower administrative costs than private insurance plans.

Collins said the type of plan Obama and Baucus have proposed would increase national expenditures by $17.8 billion in the first year.

"That is just 1 percent of the $2.2 trillion we spend (on healthcare) overall as a country," she said.

Her spending estimates are based on a cost analysis by the Lewin Group of a plan called Building Blocks proposed by The Commonwealth Fund that mirrors most elements of the Obama and Baucus plans.

A study by PriceWaterhouseCoopers last fall estimated the Obama plan would cost $75 billion in the first year, and would provide health coverage for 95 percent of Americans.

© Thomson Reuters 2009 All rights reserved

-

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

'Meet The Press' Sinks to Third Place in Ratings War

Thursday, 18 Sep 2014 17:51 PM

Chuck Todd's highly successful premier on NBC "Meet the Press" with President Barack Obama as the featured guest garnere . . .

Why Do American Jihadis Fight?

Saturday, 20 Sep 2014 09:02 AM

A look at four Americans who became jihadis, and what motivated them to fight:Moner Mohammad Abusalha, who liked to cudd . . .

Florida State Suspends Winston for Entire Game

Saturday, 20 Sep 2014 07:36 AM

Top-ranked Florida State will face Clemson without Jameis Winston - for the entire game and not just the first half.Flor . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved