ObamaCare gets health plans focused on cost

It bothered me when Governor Romney cited the continued increase in health care costs as a reason to do away with ObamaCare. Health care costs have been rising for decades and if anything the rate of increase has been slowing recently. The Affordable Care Act is probably more responsible for putting the brakes on costs than it is for fueling increases. While it has some components that drive costs up –such as removing lifetime benefit caps– there are other aspects that contain costs, such as medical loss ratio limits.

I’m happy to see health plans saying publicly that the Affordable Care Act focuses them on cost containment. We’d be best to let health plans and employers get on with it under ACA and see what they can deliver.

From Bloomberg:

The health-care industry will change its focus from expanding the insurance market to reining in medical costs now that the U.S. presidential election has been decided, said Karen Ignagni, chief executive officer of America’s Health Insurance Plans.

The re-election of President Barack Obama, who campaigned to preserve his health-care system overhaul of 2010, gives the industry certainty that implementation of the Affordable Care Act will proceed, Ignagni said in an interview with Bloomberg Television’s Peter Cook for “Capitol Gains” airing Nov. 11.

“When we look at health reform we look at it through the prism of affordability and disruption,” said Ignagni, whose organization is the main Washington-based lobbying group for health insurers. It means “making sure that care is affordable a year from now and making sure that employers who are providing coverage and individuals who are buying are not disrupted.”

November 9, 2012

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