Will Healthcare Reform Bring Down Costs?

Posted on December 3, 2010

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As many critics of healthcare reform have noted (and many supporters of reform freely acknowledge), this year’s massive healthcare reform package did very little to rein in skyrocketing costs, at least in the short term.

But a new study from The Commonwealth Fund claims that help could be coming. According to an overview of the study:

The authors describe how health reform offers the potential to reduce insurance cost growth while improving value and protection. If reforms succeed in slowing premium growth by 1 percentage point annually in all states, by 2020 employers and families together will save $2,323 annually for family coverage, compared with projected trends.

That would certainly be a good thing. Here in Maryland, for example, health insurance premiums increased by 50 percent from 2003 to 2009 (on a personal note, my own health insurance premiums are going up 19% in 2011 – and that’s for a high-deductible plan). Whatever one’s opinion may be of healthcare reform, it’s clear that finding ways to slow the rate at which healthcare costs are increasing needs to be an important priority.