Cadil-lack­ing …

Modern Healthcare - - Opinions Letters -

It is in­ter­est­ing to note that a sig­nif­i­cant por­tion of the sav­ings—$201 bil­lion—to be gen­er­ated by the Se­nate Fi­nance Com­mit­tee health­care re­form plan stems from the ex­cise tax on “Cadil­lac” plans cur­rently sold by pri­vate in­sur­ers.

At first glance the tax may seem in­nocu­ous in that it will be levied against in­sur­ers and not con­sumers. In fact, this tax will re­sult in a re­duc­tion in ben­e­fits for th­ese plans, or in the al­ter­na­tive higher pre­mi­ums.

While the plan will put in place pro­tec­tions for those with pre-ex­ist­ing con­di­tions and ex­pand cov­er­age to the unin­sured, it fails to get at the ad­min­is­tra­tive bloat and in­ef­fi­cien­cies that are the hall­mark of the pri­vate payer sys­tem to­day. Without tak­ing steps to ad­dress this is­sue, I fear that we are do­ing lit­tle more than fol­low­ing the path of cost­shift­ing that has al­ready gone on long enough within the in­dus­try. David Con­tento Ridge­wood, N.J.

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