Grace-Marie Turner, president of the Galen Institute, has been invited to testify today before a Senate Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions Committee hearing on a proposal to give the federal government authority to review health insurance premiums and to impose penalties if they are deemed “unreasonable.”
The fact that Congress already is revisiting the issue of health costs shows its health overhaul law fails to address the central issue in the health reform debate. In fact, the legislation enacted last month contains many provisions which will cause health costs and health insurance premiums to rise even faster than otherwise. Capping premiums without recognizing the forces that are driving up costs would be like putting a lid on a pressure cooker and turning up the heat. Turner uses the example of Massachusetts’ health reform initiative as evidence that this approach will not succeed.
In addition, Turner highlight some of the progress that is being made through innovations in care delivery, in creative benefit offerings, and in lowering the cost of insurance and medical care to show that the competitive market can respond to the demands of consumers for better quality care at more affordable prices.
Here is a link to the full testimony. And here is a link to the five-minute, Cliff’s Notes summary.
Click here for Grace-Marie Turner's letter to Senator Harkin on the value of coordinated and preventive care.