Concerns About Cost-Containment Hang Over Senate Reform Efforts
A growing number of Democrats, analysts and economists who support health reform say that current legislation in Congress would not slow runaway health care spending, the New York Times reports.
In May, President Obama reached an agreement with representatives from several health industry groups who agreed to voluntarily reduce the growth of health care spending by 1.5%, or $2 trillion, over the next decade.
However, some health economists say that there is no way to know whether the bills being considered by Congress will meet that pledge. Furthermore, many observers suspect the bills would not come anywhere near achieving that goal, according to the Times.
Supporters of addressing the rising cost of health care within health reform legislation have suggested several methods, including:
- Setting lower Medicare reimbursement rates;
- Discouraging the purchase of expensive health insurance policies via a tax on "Cadillac" plans;
- "Bundling" payments, in which health providers are paid a lump sum for treating a patient with a particular condition; and
- Creating a panel that makes binding recommendations on how to reduce Medicare costs.