Tags: Healthcare Reform | Bernard Tyson | Obamacare | healthcare | Kaiser

Kaiser Permanente Chief: Obamacare Costs Still Murky

Monday, 14 Jul 2014 12:42 PM

Kaiser Permanente boss Bernard Tyson warned that it might take "a couple of years" to work out the complete cost of Obamacare to healthcare providers.

"We still have work to do to better to understand the costs, obviously, because in most cases this is a new population in which they haven't had coverage before," he said on CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Monday.

But Tyson, chairman and CEO of the not-for-profit health company that services 9.3 million members, maintains that the Affordable Care Act has not led to an increase in healthcare costs.

"If someone gets sick, they get care," said Tyson, an Obamacare booster. "But unfortunately, it's in the most expensive part of the healthcare system: the emergency department.

"To the extent that people have now access to care to get into systems like Kaiser Permanente through the front door, we think that's a good thing."

But Tyson admitted that the major problem facing Obamacare is the process of deciding whether patients can be given expensive drugs and procedures.

"We're right now having these kind of debates on specialty drugs. On one hand, it's a wonderful thing because we have the opportunity to care. But on the other hand, it costs too much.

"Specialty drugs are too expensive. We'll continue to work with the pharmacy industry to lower the price."

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Kaiser Permanente boss Bernard Tyson warned that it might take "a couple of years" to work out the complete cost of Obamacare to healthcare providers.
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Monday, 14 Jul 2014 12:42 PM
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