Health Care Reform Updates
Our Position IBC’s point of view on health care reform
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 is the farthest reaching health care reform law since Medicare was enacted in 1965. At 2,400 pages, it’s also one of the most complex pieces of legislation ever enacted by Congress. The law includes more than 1,000 provisions that require the federal government to write regulations explaining how they are to be implemented. It will be years before all of its provisions take effect and its overall ramifications understood.
We at Independence Blue Cross have supported health care reform for more than a decade. We believe all Americans should have access to affordable, quality health care and that this law is an important first step toward comprehensive reform. Over the coming years, as federal regulations further define the law, we hope reform has the intended groundbreaking impact on increasing access, raising quality, and improving affordability of health care for all Americans.
We fully support health care reform.
We have long believed that everyone should have health coverage regardless of health status. In fact, we are the only insurer in our region that offers coverage to everyone.
We believe the law is an important first step toward comprehensive reform.
Many provisions of the reform law are positive, such as those that expand coverage of preventive care and that extend health insurance coverage for adult children to age 26. In addition, the law will expand coverage to an estimated 30 million Americans who are uninsured.
But the law needs to do more than cover more Americans.
Health care reform must go beyond significantly expanding access to coverage; it must also help lower high health care costs, which some economists say is the No. 1 threat to our nation’s economy. The cost of medical care continues to rise sharply and is largely unaddressed by the law. Equally important, the law needs to raise the quality of U.S. health care, which is inconsistent.
All stakeholders in health care — doctors, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, insurers, government, and consumers — must work together to lower the cost of health care and raise quality.
Health insurance premiums are directly tied to medical costs. Two of the leading reasons why these costs go up are unhealthy lifestyles and aging. So in order to lower costs, we need to find ways to encourage Americans to make healthy choices and protect their well being as they age. Of course, a law can’t make someone put down potato chips or take a walk. Together, we need to find ways to address the underlying problems that raise health care costs.
At IBC, we’re already doing our part to raise the quality of care and lower the costs.
To raise quality and lower costs for our members, we are:
- providing incentives to doctors and hospitals to reward superior quality and safety;
- funding in the largest U.S. pilot program for patient-centered medical home, a team-based model that is revolutionizing primary care;
- streamlining options for small employers to 24 popular, cost-effective plans;
- joining a national effort to improve service, lower costs for multi-state customers;
- offering innovative workplace wellness programs to employers;
- using technology to more effectively serve our customers and build their health.
Last updated: October 12, 2012