The PA Chamber believes that employers should be able to offer their workers high quality, affordable health care either through traditional coverage or through alternative options in the marketplace. Job creators continue to seek reforms to the medical liability climate and limits on the expansion of costly health-care coverage mandates.
In the midst of a global pandemic and with uncertainty still surrounding the future of the Affordable Care Act, employers are most concerned with finding the proper balance of affordability, high quality and accessibility to health care coverage for themselves and their employees.
The PA Chamber believes that the private health care delivery system provides the best method of achieving this balance. The competition that exists in the private market place creates the most choice in plans – and this choice can be hindered by excessive government interference.
A recent poll we conducted shows that a majority – 60 percent - of the Commonwealth’s voters agree. Specifically, the 500 Pennsylvanians surveyed were opposed to the creation of a new “public option” government-run health care system, which would increase the number of individuals receiving health care benefits provided by the federal government, leaving taxpayers on the hook to pay for it.
The poll also showed that Pennsylvanians are satisfied overall with the coverage they currently have through employer-sponsored plans, Medicare or Medicaid. Of the likely voters surveyed, 88 percent report being satisfied with their coverage. Other studies have shown similar results. According to a recent study that was completed with support from the Partnership for America’s Health Care Future, a public option program could increase the federal deficit by $700 billion and lead to a new 4.8 percent payroll tax on American families over the course of 30 years. Additionally, a study conducted in early 2020 by FTI Consulting found that a public option could increase hospital revenue losses by 60 percent, when compared to current levels. That level of a financial impact could force more than half of all U.S. hospitals into the red, threatening access to and quality of health care for tens of millions of Americans.
A new poll released today by the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry shows that a majority of likely voters in the Commonwealth are opposed to the creation of a government-run health care system. Often referred to as a “public option,” this type of health care system would increase the number of individuals receiving health care benefits provided by the federal government, and would leave taxpayers on the hook to pay for it.
Employers and employees constantly struggle with the cost and complexity of health care coverage. However, efforts to control the underlying costs of care must also take into account the effect on quality and accessibility of health care delivery in Pennsylvania. Balancing cost, quality and accessibility within the health care system remains a challenge for all stakeholders in the process, including government, insurers, providers, purchasers and consumers.
On behalf of purchasers and consumers of health care, the Chamber believes a private health care delivery system, not a single payer system, must be encouraged and maintained as a means to provide all Pennsylvanians with appropriate access to cost-effective, quality health care. As in any business, competition among health insurance companies and health care providers will impact the cost of health care premiums. With effective and efficient competition, employers and employees should have a greater choice of health plans, networks, and providers.
Quite often, new opportunities for a stronger, more effective health care system surface elsewhere. State government should not hinder Pennsylvania’s competitive position relative to other regions and should capitalize on emerging concepts whenever possible. In particular, Pennsylvania should support, not restrict, alternative delivery models, including advances in technology that are designed to enhance cost-effective treatment and management of health care.
In order to sustain a prosperous relationship between employers and employees and promote an attractive workforce environment, the Chamber encourages critical improvements to Pennsylvania’s business climate in order to spur private sector job creation thereby minimizing individuals’ dependence on the Commonwealth’s medical assistance (MA) programs. Pennsylvania’s MA programs already represent one of the largest components of the Commonwealth’s General Fund budget. Any expansion of government assisted programs at the state and federal level should be fiscally viable and sustainable without shifting costs to employers.
On behalf of employers and employees, the Chamber supports the following concepts:
The Chamber opposes: