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TALLAHASSEE, FL — Health care reform might cost $1 trillion, but it can ultimately save the nation $3 trillion, with billions of dollars of benefits for every state in the union, a new report released today by Florida PIRG (The Public Interest Research Group) notes.
“Health insurance premiums have doubled over the past decade while Congress did nothing and now costs are set to double once again,” said Florida PIRG Public Health Advocate, Brad Ashwell. “We know how to get skyrocketing costs under control and now it’s time for Congress to pass a health care reform bill with the strong cost-saving policies that Florida needs.”
The $3 Trillion Question: What Health Care Reform Can Save For Families, Businesses and Taxpayers, provides estimates for how much various cost-saving proposals can reduce health spending – all while improving the quality of the care we receive.
The report also endorses a White House proposal that would bring down costs and sidestep political gridlock by empowering a new independent commission, made up of doctors and health care experts to adopt the reforms that can incentivize the highest-quality, most efficient care.
Among the potential savings identified in the report:
- Streamlining health care billing and cutting red tape can reduce $350 billion of waste.
- Adoption of health information technology and electronic medical records can save $180 billion.
- Investing in unbiased research into the best treatments, drugs, and devices can save $480 billion.
- Creating a public health insurance option to compete on a level playing field with private insurers will reduce national costs by $230 billion or more.
These reforms would save Florida $168 to $209 BILLION over the next decade.
“We have a once-in-a generation opportunity to make significant changes to our health care system,” said Ashwell. By aligning payment incentives with quality treatment, streamlining administrative procedures, investing in health IT, and by conducting better research on which treatments work for patients, we can make health care more affordable and improve the quality of patient care,” said Brad Ashwell, Florida PIRG’s Public Health Advocate.
“We can’t put off fixing our dysfunctional health care system any longer.” “Lawmakers are wrangling over how to fund the federal investment in reform,” explained Michael Russo, PIRG health care advocate and author of the report. “But the $1 trillion price tag is two to three times smaller than the potential economic benefits to the country as a whole. Letting a fear of federal outlays weaken reform legislation will leave our families and businesses out to dry.”
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Florida PIRG is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, statewide advocacy organization that fights for consumer protections and a more vibrant democracy by standing up to powerful interests. For more information visit www.floridapirg.org
U.S. PIRG is the D.C. lobbying office for the federation of state PIRG’s.
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