NU Online News Service, May 10, 5:15 p.m. – Brad Benton is the latest health care consultant who is predicting the U.S. health care system will remain reasonably steady at least until 2004.
Commercial health coverage costs have been increasing at double-digit rates since the mid-1990s, and surveys are suggesting that large employers are expecting more big increases in 2003.
The job market may not have fallen off a cliff, but it has, at the very least, tripped over a curb.
But Benton, a partner in the health care and public sector practice in the Atlanta office of KPMG L.L.P., says the forces propping up the current, employer-sponsored system are just too strong for the system to crumble in 2003, let alone this year.
“Employers are committed to the idea of offering health care benefits,” Benton says.
For now, the cost increases still don’t amount to a “DEFCON 1 kind of event,” Benton insists.