Karen Davis Gives House Testimony on Ensuring Families' 'Health Security'

eAlert 4e8e2e37-3fd3-4a7f-83c3-41f47cc7de3e

<p>Rising health care costs this decade have coincided with eroding health insurance coverage and the shifting of a greater share of financial responsibility for coverage and health care to American families.<br><br>In <a href="/publications/testimonies/2008/sep/testimony--shifting-health-care-financial-risk-to-families-is-not-a-sound-strategy--the-changes-need
">invited testimony</a> today before the House Committee on Ways and Means, Subcommittee on Health, Commonwealth Fund president Karen Davis said that federal action is needed "to guarantee affordable coverage that provides adequate financial protection and ensures that individuals can obtain needed care--the two essential functions of health insurance."<br><br>Davis recommended the following steps, among others:<ul><li>Providing health insurance premium assistance to low-income and modest-income families who cannot afford family premiums.</li><li>Strengthening employer coverage.</li><li>Setting national rules for the operation of individual health insurance markets or creating a national insurance connector that makes affordable health insurance policies available to those without access to employer coverage.</li></ul>Davis also pointed out that insurance reforms need to be part of a comprehensive strategy to bring about a high performance health care system--one that includes fundamental changes in the way health care providers are paid and the creation of a more organized health system that takes full advantage of modern information technology and evidence-based medicine.<br><br>"Rather than shifting more financial risk to families, public programs and private insurers alike need to do more, both independently and in collaboration, to slow the growth in health care costs and transform the delivery of health care services to improve quality and enhance value for the money spent on health care," Davis said.</p>