Addressing Healthcare CostsBack to The Issues
Recent reports indicate 98% healthcare coverage for the people of Massachusetts and that is a great achievement. But leading the country with this directive comes at a high cost and there does not seem to be a viable solution in sight.
A recent Globe article (9/2/14) indicated: "Spending at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts jumped 3.65 percent, and as much as 4 percent for some Partners HealthCare patients last year, compared with an inflation rate of 1.4 percent in the Boston metropolitan area. Overall health care spending grew 2.3 percent, according to the report from the Center for Health Information and Analysis, a state agency." Only the largest insurers are able to navigate the rules and regulations in an Obamacare market. This results in greater monopolies that drive cost growth.
We need to institute reforms immediately to stem the bleeding of red ink. Some ideas are:
- Allowing towns and cities the flexibility of "Plan Design".
- Enact true tort reform to prevent frivolous lawsuits which drive up the cost of insurance premiums for health care providers.
- Enrolling Medicaid recipients into managed care plans. Savings to the state is estimated at up to $1 billion over five years.
- Repealing the medical device tax is critical to continuing healthcare innovations that lower costs and improve quality of life. The tax, conceived as one among many ways to help pay for the Affordable Care Act, imposes a 2.3% tax on every medical device sold. This tax disproportionately hurts young and innovative start-up companies that are building the medical technologies of the future.
- Supporting Governor Baker in seeking exemptions/reimbursements for Obamacare/ its failures - particularly the failed Connector website that has cost the state hundreds of millions of dollars and left thousands of consumers in coverage-limbo.
There is a joint committee between the House and Senate, working to address the critical steps needed to bring costs in line. With the new Federal mandate possibly coming online soon, Massachusetts must regain control over these expenditures.