One would have to live in a cave not to know that health care in America is changing. Three key issues driving these changes are the need to reduce costs, improve health outcomes and cover more people. As business owners, we believe these are important goals.
Which prompts the question, will the Affordable Care Act take us where we need to go?
When the ACA is fully operational, many more Oregonians will be covered, the exclusion for pre-existing conditions will have ended and many other benefits will accrue.
A Congressional Budget Office analysis, however, shows the ACA will reduce government spending but increase total spending. This means families and businesses will pay $130 billion more annually for health care than we do now.
In terms of health outcomes, the Massachusetts experience with a similar system shows no improvement in public health. In contrast, medical bankruptcies rose 30 percent and health care costs there are rising faster than any other region.
And the bottom line? The ACA will not cover everyone in Oregon. Many will still lack coverage.
So what’s the alternative?
If you are interested in helping to fund this important study, checks should be made out to “Northwest Health Foundation Fund II” and designated “HB 3260 Health Care Financing Study” and sent to:
Northwest Health Foundation
221 NW Second Ave, Suite 300
Portland, Oregon 97209