Healthcare Cost & Quality
| May 24 2018

Budget Hawks, Actuaries Cite Need to Control Health Care Costs

Geoff Manville
Partner, Mercer’s Law & Policy Group

Rising health care costs play a big role in the nation’s growing debt burden and need to be addressed, say actuaries and a leading bipartisan Washington organization dedicated to sound fiscal policy.

The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB) and the Concerned Actuaries Group this week announced a new joint initiative intended to inform the public, policymakers and key stakeholders about the cost challenges confronting our health care system. Under their initiative -- American Health Care: Rethinking the Challenges, Opportunities and Possibilities -- the two groups will issue a series of papers, briefings, presentations and other materials to help drive the policy discussion about how to improve the sustainability of our health care system by reining in costs.

Those costs “are simply too high to ignore,” and represent “an ongoing challenge for families, businesses, and governments,” notes CRFB president Maya MacGuineas. “At the federal level, health care spending represents our largest and fastest growing spending category – and tough choices must be made to slow that cost growth.”

While efforts to erase red ink have for now taken a back seat to tax cuts and higher spending, the groups’ mission will clearly take increasing urgency and help shape the debate over provider payment reform, drug costs, Medicare expansion, and limiting tax incentives for employer-provided coverage, among other things.

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