Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Health Reform Bills Would Be Great For the Business Of Health Care

Have you noticed how none of the big health care business special interests is running any negative health care reform ads? Why should they when each is poised to gain billions of dollars from it?

As President Barack Obama has said many times, any health care bill that costs about $1 trillion would be paid for, roughly half and half, with savings in the health care system and new revenues (taxes).

All told, health care providers will likely get hit by $500 billion in federal payment reductions over 10 years from what they would have received otherwise. This is their "savings" contribution to help pay for the overhaul effort. It amounts to no more than a couple of percentage points less than they would have received anyway.

But more importantly, the Congress is getting ready to spend $1 trillion over the same 10 years mostly to expand Medicaid and provide subsidies to the uninsured to help them purchase private health insurance and be able to pay their medical bills. The health industry, by giving up $500 billion, gets millions more patients armed with public and private health insurance cards. Not a bad deal—particularly when the other $500 billion needed to finance the bill comes from new levies on taxpayers, not bigger industry cuts.

The details show an even prettier picture for the business of health care.

Read the rest of this column at Kaiser Health News.
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