Many unions and some disease advocacy groups are objecting to the wellness and prevention provisions proposed in some health reform measures. In a USA Today article, the difficulties of our “system” once again point out the impediments to improvement.
Republican Senators have now introduced a bill to essentially gut federal funding or use of comparative effectiveness research, continuing an attack on the proposed expansion of such research for the purpose of controlling costs
The Wall Street Journal article summarized some research results regarding the potential cost savings of prevention and wellness efforts, particularly for persons with chronic diseases. The overall conclusion is that not much money is likely to be saved by such methods, primarily because the cost of these programs when applied to a large population tends to outweigh the health care cost savings which eventually accrue.
The work of the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission is always worth reading carefully. (Medpac website) It is one of the government groups that seems to do its job with a high degree of professionalism. MEDPAC’s reports contain useful data and it often provide unvarnished analysis and insight into America’s health care cost issues.