One Way to Lower Health Care Premiums by 40%

Mar 22, 2018 - 3:45pm

President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

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A doctor examines a patient in an exam room in Silver Spring, Md.
A doctor examines a patient in an exam room in Silver Spring, Md.

Health care costs and access continue to be a struggle for Americans, despite years of efforts from Washington.

Consumers looking to buy health insurance coverage face higher premiums and fewer plan options.

To help allay these struggles and frustrations, we and many in Congress are continuing to work to improve access to health care.

Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Susan Collins (R-ME) along with Congressmen Greg Walden (R-OR) and Ryan Costello (R-PA) have put forward a legislative solution to stabilize out-of-control insurance premiums for millions of Americans and support the crumbling individual health insurance market.

The U.S. Chamber supports these market stabilization efforts because they would:

  1. Provide the funds necessary to cover required cost-sharing benefits that ensure lower income individuals have access to care.
  2. Help states develop a financial backstop for exceedingly high insurance claims. This would limit premium increases that would be passed on to others.
  3. Allow anyone to buy catastrophic coverage, creating more affordable, lower cost coverage options.

According to an analysis by Oliver Wyman, taking these badly needed actions could reduce premiums by 40%, enable an additional 3.2 million individuals to get coverage thanks to lower costs, and support a healthcare system straining under the costs of uncompensated care.

Most importantly, these legislative provisions would help preserve the private market as we explore additional reforms.

Some who are considering opposing this bill don’t share that goal and are openly advocating for single-payer government run health care.

That path will not lead to higher quality, more affordable health care, Americans want.

Passing this stabilization plan is a key step toward avoiding that fate.

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About the Author

About the Author

Thomas J. Donahue
President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Thomas J. Donohue is president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.