The White House's chief economic adviser acknowledged that healthcare costs would rise in the short term under a reformed system, but said that the market would gradually see about a 1 percentage point decrease in cost growth per year beginning five years out and extending over the long term.
White House adviser sees cost growth slowing—eventually
Christina Romer, chairwoman of the Council of Economic Advisers, said that both the Senate and House bills contain measures that would slow the rising costs of care in America, with a raft of changes to how Medicare pays providers leading the way.
Romer cited provisions that would lead to bundled payments, accountable-care organizations and an independent Medicare advisory board as cost-reduction leaders on the public side, adding that the creation of a so-called insurance exchange, administrative simplification and a tax on high-dollar plans would drive changes on the private side. “The bills, as they are coming through, will genuinely slow the growth rate of healthcare spending,” Romer said on a conference call with reporters.
While Romer said that the 1 percentage point reduction in costs is a conservative estimate, other assessments have differed. CMS actuaries said last week that total national health expenditures under the Senate bill would increase by roughly $234 billion, or 0.7%, from 2010 to 2019.
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