Session’s Heading Wrong Way on Healthcare Costs
Federal healthcare legislation is almost certain to increase the cost of health insurance premiums for many in the state and yet lawmakers are considering bills that will make matters worse.
With a little over two weeks left in the 2013 session, state lawmakers must stop driving up health insurance further by rejecting the numerous health benefit mandates and other costly changes to the healthcare system they are considering.
Here are some of the negative consequences of not changing course by continuing to approve expensive mandates and modifications to the health care system:
Will Cost the State of Connecticut: This year, any new mandates will have an even greater cost impact because federal healthcare legislation requires the state to pay the bill for any new health benefit mandates. The feds will pay for existing health benefit mandates (for the subsidized market), but anything new will be on the state’s tab. Given Connecticut’s budget crisis even more increased costs is counter-productive.
Change direction: Legislators should reject health benefit mandates that will increase state budget costs as well as healthcare costs for employers and employees.
Will Make Premium Increases Worse: Health insurance costs are already rising under the new federal health insurance laws and new state mandates requiring health insurance to cover even more treatments and procedures as well as further changes to the healthcare system are certain to drive premiums for individuals and employers even higher.
Change direction: Lawmakers must stop imposing more mandates since health insurers will pass costs on to consumers in the form of higher premiums.
Will Frustrate Implementation of Federal Healthcare legislation: The reality is that the more changes are made to the health insurance system by the state the more difficult it will be to focus on implementing the already far-reaching changes of federal healthcare legislation.
Change direction: The healthcare landscape is already changing rapidly and dramatically; legislators should stop making modifications that will further complicate matters.
Experts agree that the cost of health insurance will increase in 2014, and some of the estimates are very high—no matter what the legislature does this year. Why make matters worse?
Lawmakers need to reverse direction to avoid making the problem worse, not only in costs, but in the other major consequence: access. The higher the cost, the less access people will have to affordable health insurance.
It’s not too late to turn around now, but it will be soon, with the legislature due to adjourn on June 5.
For more information, contact CBIA’s Jennifer Herz at 860.244.1921 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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