Legislative Agenda 2013-14: Affordable Health Care

Rising health care costs are one of Wisconsin’s top economic, business, and consumer concerns. While federal health care reform guarantees access to care for everyone, it does nothing to address the rising cost of care. Offering health insurance has never been more expensive and burdensome for employers. Wisconsin businesses could realize a competitive advantage if the Legislature adopted and encouraged policies that ultimately lower the cost of care. WMC supports the following initiatives to help contain the cost of health care: 

•           Promote consumer-driven health care and access to cost and quality date. Well-informed health care purchasers create a competitive market based on value. Providing consumers with relevant data will enable them to choose quality providers and facilities, which will ultimately drive down the cost of health care. 

•           Repeal or reform the federal Affordable Care Act. The new federal health insurance law has made it more difficult for employers to offer health care coverage to their employees. Federal reform has increased taxes, fees, and regulatory hurdles. WMC strongly advocated against the enactment of this law, but now to the extent possible, we must ensure that the laws that are implemented preserve consumer choice and Wisconsin’s competitive climate. 

•           Avoid mandates that increase insurance costs. Although often well-intended, health insurance mandates limit flexibility and increase insurance costs. Each proposed health insurance mandate should be evaluated for its cost, benefits, and medical value.  

•           Maintain an employer-based system. It is in everyone’s best interest that employers continue to offer health insurance. When businesses can no longer afford to provide coverage, the demand for government health care programs increases. The additional financial burden on state government threatens provider reimbursements and increases taxpayer costs.