Thursday, June 18, 2009

Cost of healthcare projected to jump 9 percent in 2010... and that's with healthcare reform

From Reuters:

U.S. employers will see healthcare costs rise 9 percent in 2010 and they expect their workers to pay a greater share of their health plans, consultant PricewaterhouseCoopers said on Thursday.

PwC's annual medical costs trends report also said more workers are likely to utilize their health insurance coverage because they fear they will lose their jobs, and more uninsured and underinsured people will turn to Medicaid for coverage.

The cost increase will be offset in part by cost declines from expected U.S. health care reforms and the potential for high deductible health plans and wellness programs, PwC said.
Did you catch that? The projected nine-percent jump actually anticipates downward pressure on costs associated with healthcare reform. Imagine what it would be without that expectation. Imagine how much the cost of being able to get treated when you are sick will go up when the insurance industry, the Republicans, and bipartisan-minded Democrats succeed in scuttling actual reform in favor of co-ops that dilute the power of a public option by allowing the states to manage it.

Obama and reform-minded Democrats really need to take the gloves off if they have any real desire to get this done. They have to destroy the notion that it will take 60 votes in the senate to pass a healthcare bill. It does not take 60 votes. It takes 51 votes.

They have to abandon the idea that the goal is a bipartisan healthcare bill. The goal has to be a bill that makes affordable healthcare available to every American, whether the Republicans get on board or not. If they don't get on board, they deserve to get left behind or run over.

Stop playing games with opponents of reform. The Democrats have a 59-seat majority in the Senate and more than enough votes to gain passage in the House. That is, if that's really what they want to do.