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Leading policy-makers and scholars explain how market forces, deregulation, and consumer choice can work to improve health care for all Americans.

Commentary

Health Care Costs Threaten Nationís Economic Dominance
Newt Gingrich, Michael I. Mackness, David Merritt, Chicago Sun-Times, 7-31-06

Gingrich and Merritt warn that the American economy is on the road to disaster without serious health care reform. They believe that companies need to leverage their purchasing power to demand real reforms from health care providers.

America's employers have paid much of the health-care bill for more than half a century, and until the last 20 years or so, this was simply a cost of doing business. Not anymore. According to a recent survey by the Business Roundtable, more than 40 percent of CEOs cite health-care costs as the greatest threat to their businesses—more than energy, litigation and pensions combined.

They have reason to worry. According to McKinsey & Company, by 2008 the average Fortune 500 company may spend as much on health benefits as it earns in profits. Our current path is simply unsustainable.

As the ultimate payer of health-care costs, along with their employees, the nation's employers have the power to change this. Cutting benefits, raising premiums and increasing co-pays and deductibles are not viable long-term solutions. Rather, employers must be bold and leverage their purchasing power to push transformational solutions.



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