Rising health care costs are repeatedly rated one of Wisconsin’s top economic, business and consumer concerns. WMC works on healthcare issues on behalf of businesses in the state.
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The rising costs of care continue to exert pressure on every facet of Wisconsin’s health care system and populations of every income level thereby:
- increasing the cost of health insurance coverage;
- forcing many employers and individual consumers to drop coverage or continue going without health insurance;
- forcing employers to cut back on wage increases
- increasing the demand for government health care programs such as Medicaid and BadgerCare;
- increasing the financial burden on state government, which threatens provider reimbursement and increases taxpayer costs; and
- shifting costs from public health care programs to commercial payers, increasing the cost of health insurance and continuing the cycle of health care problems in our state.
To address the problem of rising health care costs, WMC actively promotes a multi-faceted agenda, organized in key areas:
- improve the health status of Wisconsin citizens;
- promote evidence-based approaches to caring for patients with chronic disease;
- promote a competitive health care market based on value;
- remove impediments to improvements in quality, safety and efficiency; and
- correct the funding problems in Medicaid/BadgerCare before increasing their populations.
- After having been struck down by the Wisconsin Supreme Court, re-established reasonable limits on non-economic damage awards in medical malpractice actions.
- Require health care providers, hospitals and insurers to disclose procedure pricing information to consumers upon request.
- Encouraged value-based health care purchasing decisions by supporting the development of the Wisconsin Health Information Organization (WHIO) and providing resources to educate consumers on determining value in health care.
- Federalize state tax treatment of health savings accounts and adult dependent coverage to age 26.
- Protect from litigation discovery information developed through peer review committees and other safety improvement efforts.
- Require every proposed health insurance mandate to be evaluated for its cost, benefits and medical value. This information must be shared with the legislature prior to any action taken on the mandate.
- Exempt prescription drugs from the Wisconsin “loss leader”prohibition and thereby allow consumers to save money and benefit from the low-cost prescriptions currently available in other states.
- Though WMC strongly advocated against enactment of the new federal health care laws, we are working, to the extent possible, to ensure that as the laws are implemented in Wisconsin, consumer choice is preserved and care remains patient centered.