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October 13, 2004

Details Matter: A Closer Look at Senator Kerry's Health Care Plan

The employer premium rebate pro­posal would no doubt appeal to some major employers and health insurance executives. They would have an opportunity to off-load the high costs of high-risk enrollees onto the taxpayers.

In other words, the proposal would be an engine of major cost shifting. Jeffrey Petertil, an independent consulting actuary, says that the pro­posal would make insurance premiums more “pre­dictable,” but it would be costly and would “supplant” the reinsurance market, “so it is a big­ger step toward national health insurance than may be evident from a quick read of the idea.” In any case, billions of dollars of additional cost shift­ing in the health care sector would not add one cent of value to patient care.

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Posted by Tom Troceen