“Employers are keeping quiet in the political debate over health care costs, but the cost crisis looming in front of them is bigger than many people may realize,” Sam Baker and Caitlin Owens write over at Axios. “Why it matters: Washington isn’t known for being proactive, but in some ways it’s better prepared than the private sector to grapple with the ever-climbing cost of care. And some experts warn that these costs will eventually have a chilling effect on the economy. Show less Between the lines: Health care costs will keep rising throughout the system — everything gets more expensive over time, hospitals are continuing to consolidate, and the next wave of drugs will be wildly expensive. But private insurance may feel the biggest squeeze. Hospitals get paid more from private insurance than they do from Medicare and Medicaid. They say government programs don’t pay them enough to stay in business, and that they make up the difference by charging higher prices for private plans. As Baby Boomers continue to retire, shifting out of their employer plans and into Medicare, more of hospitals’ work will be reimbursed at lower Medicare rates — creating more pressure to make up more revenue through more price increases on private coverage. “Will employers be the place of last resort over and over and over again, and is that sustainable?” Democratic health care consultant Chris Jennings said.” Sam Baker and Caitlin Owens, “Employers’ health care crisis will only get worse,” Axios.
Jeanne Pinder is the founder and CEO of ClearHealthCosts. She worked at The New York Times for almost 25 years as a reporter, editor and human resources executive, then volunteered for a buyout and founded... More by Jeanne Pinder