The path to reforming the healthcare system depends on expanding employer-sponsored coverage, according to the American Benefits Council.
We explicitly reject the claim that employers want to exit the healthcare system, Council President James Klein said during a news conference. However, mandating that employers provide a minimum level of health coverage is neither necessary nor appropriate, according to Condition Critical: Ten Prescriptions for Reforming Health Care Quality, which offered 44 specific policy recommendations.
Instead, reform solutions should focus on strategies to make health coverage as affordable as possible for employers of all sizes, and improve the individual insurance market, according to the report. Specifically, health coverage should become an individual obligation for all Americans, accompanied by income-based premium subsidies to make coverage affordable for lower-income individuals.
At a news conference, Paul Dennett, senior vice president for healthcare reform at the council, offered that a mechanism could be established to perhaps automatically enroll individuals who dont sign up for coverage, rather than relying on financial penalties. Klein said the group has already shared its ideas with President-elect Barack Obamas transition team, as well as members of Congress. The goal of this report is to help lawmakers answer the difficult questions that will come up in crafting a new healthcare system, he said.