Chit-chatting with corporate America on health care costs
Today's New York Times has an article in which leaders of corporations that have been absorbing health care costs are interviewed. Overall, they view the current focus on employer-based coverage as unsustainable. On the other hand, they don't think the government should be responsible for coverage either.
But much of the coverage issue - at least as described here - is not about the costs per se, but where they should be shifted.
I was about ready to hurl my laptop again when, blessedly, the discussion finally moved after the jump to the costs themselves, with some anecdotes about the beneficial effects of employer-sponsored prevention programs on cost increases. As I've pointed out before, reducing the slope on an increase is not the same as eliminating the slope or making it negative (i.e., reducing costs); still, I'll allow that the single-digit increases cited for Pitney-Bowes are better than double-digit increases. (Is that the best they can do?)
Prevention is, of course, an important goal that benefits everyone, except for those who actually - yes, let's admit it - profit from illness, and from overuse of interventions. And there's precious little willingness to look at the profit variable in the cost equation.