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Private and public insurance choices could help pay for national health care reform
Date:7/16/2009

New York, NY, July 16, 2009As lawmakers debate how to pay for an overhaul of the nation's health care system, a new report from The Commonwealth Fund projects that including both private and public insurance choices in a new insurance exchange would save the United States as much as $265 billion in administrative costs from 2010 to 2020. Congressional leaders are attempting to keep 10-year federal budget costs of health care reform legislation under $1 trillion.

"Health reform can help pay for itself, but both private and public insurance choices are critically important," said Commonwealth Fund President Karen Davis, who coauthored the new report. "A public insurance plan can help drive new efficiencies in the system that will produce large cost reductions. Without a public plan, much of those potential savings will be lost."

The Commonwealth Fund Commission on a High Performance Health System has put forward a comprehensive set of policy options to achieve near-universal health insurance coverage while reforming the U.S. health care system to achieve nearly $3 trillion in savings by 2020. Central to this proposal is the creation of a national insurance exchange that would largely replace the individual and small-group insurance markets, offering families and business a choice of private or public plans with a benchmark standardized-benefit package.

The new report, How Health Care Reform Can Lower the Costs of Insurance Administration, says that it is possible to achieve near-universal coverage, improve health care quality and efficiency, and lower the trajectory of health care costs through a comprehensive private-public approach to health reform. A Commonwealth Fund analysis of three paths to reform found that an approach that includes a public plan in the exchange that would pay providers at Medicare rates would save about $265 billion in administrative costs over 2010-2020. On the other hand, an insurance exchange that provid
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Contact: Mary Mahon
mm@cmwf.org
212-606-3853
Commonwealth Fund
Source:Eurekalert

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