Congress should focus less on shifting government health program bills onto other payers’ shoulders and more on changing the way doctors and hospitals are paid.
The Business Roundtable, Washington, a group that represents large U.S. companies, gives those recommendations and others in a new report on strategies for improving the U.S. health delivery and health finance systems.
The group developed the report with help from Hewitt Associates Inc., Lincolnshire, Ill.
Employers now provide about 60% of U.S. health care coverage, and Business Roundtable members provide coverage for 35 million U.S. residents, the group notes.
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The goal should be getting growth in health care costs down to the same rate as growth in gross domestic product, or about 4%, the group says.
In recent years, growth in total health care costs has been about 7%, and growth in private employers’ health care costs has averaged about 10% per year, the group says.
“We are committed to working with Congress and the [Obama] administration toward a bill we can support,” says Antonio Perez, chair of Business Roundtable’s consumer health and retirement initiative.
But the group cannot support a health bill if it believes the bill will make the health finance situation worse, Perez says.