Thursday, August 6, 2009

Health Care Reform Could Save Wisconsin $54.5 Billion. Protesters Still Affraid They'll Lose Their Freedom.

I would normally sum up the following report on health care reform, cutting to the bottom line, but this time there are a number of crucial bottom lines. If this report means anything, every state in the country stands to save big time money. So much for the so called "grass roots" protesters credibility.

Health care reform might cost $1 trillion, but it can ultimately save the nation $3 trillion, with billions of dollars of benefits for every state in the union, including $54.5 billion in Wisconsin, a new report released today by the Wisconsin Public Interest Research Group notes.

“We can not afford not to act,” said WISPIRG advocate, Bruce Speight. “We know how to get skyrocketing costs under control – now it’s time for Congress to step up and pass the strong cost-saving policies that Wisconsin needs.”

The $3 Trillion Question: What Health Care Reform Can Save For Families, Businesses and Taxpayers, provides estimates for how much various cost-saving proposals can reduce health spending – all while improving the quality of the care we receive.

The report also endorses a White House proposal that would bring down costs and sidestep political gridlock by empowering a new independent commission, made up of doctors and health care experts to adopt the reforms that can incentivize the highest-quality, most efficient care.

Among the potential savings identified in the report:

Streamlining health care billing and cutting red tape can reduce $350 billion of waste nationally, nearly $7 billion in Wisconsin.

Adoption of health information technology and electronic medical records can save $180 billion nationally, $3.5 billion in Wisconsin.

Investing in unbiased research into the best treatments, drugs, and devices can save $480 billion nationally, over $9 billion in Wisconsin.

Creating a public health insurance option to compete on a level playing field with private insurers will reduce national costs by $230 billion or more nationally, $4.5 billion in Wisconsin.

“Lawmakers are wrangling over how to fund the federal investment in reform,” explained Michael Russo, WISPIRG federal health care advocate and author of the report. “But the $1 trillion price tag is two to three times smaller than the potential economic benefits to the country as a whole.

Letting a fear of federal outlays weaken reform legislation will leave our families and businesses out to dry.

WISPIRG is a statewide nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that protects consumers and stands up to powerful interests.

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