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New health reform strategy would insure everyone, improve health and slow spending growth
Date:2/18/2009

till go up but at a slower rate. The U.S. is expected to spend $42 trillion on health care over the next 11 years, with spending rising 6.7 percent per year. By rationalizing the care system, including payment and information system reforms, the Commission's strategic approach could substantially slow the increase in spending, to 5.5 percent per year, and at the same time provide coverage and access for all. The cumulative savings would accrue to families, business, and the public sector. Analysis indicates savings would extend across all income groups.

"To improve health and enhance our family and national security, we need to invest in substantial reforms," said Commonwealth Fund President Karen Davis. "With our economy in crisis, health costs squeezing family budgets, and coverage deteriorating, we can't afford to continue on our current path. The Commission has laid out a pragmatic strategy that could rapidly move us in more positive directionsif we start now."

Without new national policies, the number of uninsured is projected to increase to 61 million over the next decade, not counting over 25 million more who are underinsuredpoorly protected by inadequate insurance if they become sick. Despite this erosion in coverage, national health spending is projected to double to $5.2 trillion by 2020, to consume 21 percent of national resources.

"Our health care system currently falls far short of what we should expect, despite pockets of excellence. Too often incentives reward more care, rather than better outcomes," said James J. Mongan, M.D., Chair of the Commission and President and CEO of Partners HealthCare. "The Commission recognizes that progress will require major changes reforms won't be easy. Yet, if we fail to act the situation we face in the future will be much worse. We urge the leadership and political will necessary to overcome resistance to change and to proceed toward a high performance health system."

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Contact: Mary Mahon
mm@cmwf.org
212-606-3853
Commonwealth Fund
Source:Eurekalert

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