WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 30TH, 2009 AT 3:24 PM
Word from the White House: The Cost of Inaction & Patient Centered Health Research
Posted by Jesse Lee
It's no secret that institutions of all stripes focus their communications on certain messages day to day. We thought it would all be a little more open and transparent if we went ahead and published what our focus will be for the day, along with any related articles, reports or documents.
Supporting Report: "The Cost of Failure to Enact Health Reform," Roberts Wood Johnson Foundation, 9/30/09
Talking Points: New Report – The Cost of Inaction
· Even as we continue to debate exactly what health insurance reform will look like in its final form, it’s critical to remember one thing: doing nothing is not an option. The cost of inaction is too high.
· A new report out today from the Robert Wood Johnson foundation underscores that cost.
· It finds that "if federal reform efforts fail, over the next decade in every state, the number of uninsured will increase, employer-sponsored coverage will continue to erode, spending on public programs will balloon and individual and family out-of-pocket costs could increase by more than 35 percent."
· Under even the best case scenario, their analysis predicts a tremendous economic strain on individuals and businesses in all 50 states and the District of Columbia if reform is not enacted.
· And in the worst case scenario the results would be absolutely devastating:
o In 29 states, the number of people without insurance would increase by more than 30 percent.
§ The number of uninsured could grow by at least 10 percent in every state. All told, the number of uninsured Americans would reach 65.7 million.
o Individual and family spending would increase significantly—from $326.4 billion in 2009 to $548.4 billion in 2019.
§ Individual and family out-of-pocket costs would increase by more than 35 percent in every state
o Businesses would see their premiums continue to increase – more than doubling in 27 states.
§ Even under the best case scenario, employers in nearly every state would see premium costs increase by more than 60 percent.
o Every state would see employer-sponsored coverage continue to erode, and half would see the number of people with employer sponsored coverage fall by more than 10 percent.
Talking Points: Patient Centered Health Research
· Health care is a complicated subject and sometimes it’s easy to get confused by terms we haven’t heard before – like the "comparative effectiveness research" being debated on Capitol Hill today.
· But when you get past the jargon, the idea here is really quite simple: Patient centered health research gives doctors and patients the best medical information to help them make the best decisions.
o To facilitate higher-quality health care, this research pulls together the evidence on treatments available for a given medical condition and summarizes the risks and benefits of various options to help doctors and patients choose the treatment that’s best for their individual needs.
· This research expands choices for patients.
· Right now, less than one percent of our health care spending goes to examining what treatments are most effective.
o And even when that information finds its way into journals, it can take up to 17 years to find its way to an exam room or operating table.
o Don’t you want your doctor to have more information, not less?
· The research will never be used to ration care or dictate medical decisions – it simply provides medical research.
o In fact, the objective medical research actually empowers doctors and patients and helps them fight insurance company decisions to deny treatment and ration care.
· Many physician and patient groups recognize that this research is important and support it.
· Opposing this research keeps doctors and patients in the dark and strengthens insurance companies at the expense of doctors and patients.