Health Reform Plan Must Account for Rising Costs
"One of the biggest ironies in the debate over how to expand access to health insurance in California is that the compromise plan -- or concept -- with the greatest chance of success would do so little to solve the problem" of health insurance costs increasing faster than wages, Daniel Weintraub writes in his Sacramento Bee column.
Health care reform proposals by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) and Democratic legislative leaders "seek to cap health care costs for individuals," Weintraub writes, but "they can't, or don't, limit the real costs of that care."
According to Weintraub, the overhaul plan that the governor and Democrats are negotiating during the special legislative session "would face serious new hurdles almost from the moment it is adopted."
Weintraub notes that "if health costs continue to rise during the next six years as they have over the past six years," the price tag for the compromise plan will grow at a faster rate than the funding sources, leaving a gap that "would have to be covered by more subsidies."
"So while these proposals might improve the quality of life for many people, they will do little to slow the growth in health care costs, which means the programs would almost certainly run short of money within a few years," Weintraub writes (Weintraub, Sacramento Bee, 10/2).