The cost of inaction to our fiscal health is clear–family premiums are projected to increase an average of $1,800 each year, the number of the uninsured will reach 61 million by 2020, and with employers unable to afford rising health care costs, our country could see an additional 3.5 million people unemployed and without benefits in the next 4 years. In an open letter to Congress today, eleven leading health care economists announced their support for the Affordable Health Care for America Act writing, “the legislation the House will vote on in the coming days will guarantee security of coverage, limit the costs of care, create incentives for improved quality of care, and set us on the path towards sustainable economic growth.” The letter:
November 6, 2009
To Members of Congress:
Successful health care reform is vital to the nation’s fiscal and economic future. The legislation the House will vote on in the coming days will guarantee security of coverage, limit the costs of care, create incentives for improved quality of care, and set us on the path towards sustainable economic growth. In short, the House health reform legislation takes the steps necessary to promote our economic health.
Specifically, the bill:
Reduces the deficit by over $100 billion in the first 10 years, and continues to reduce the deficit in subsequent years, as judged by the Congressional Budget Office.
Takes initial steps to “bend the cost curve,” and thus might lead to even larger cost savings than official estimates suggest.
Covers nearly all American citizens and legal residents.
We urge House passage of the legislation, which provides a historic opportunity to realize the long-delayed goal of significant health care reform.
Dr. Henry J. Aaron, The Brookings Institution
Dr. Mike Chernew, Harvard University Medical School
Dr. David Cutler, Harvard University
Dr. Judy Feder, Georgetown University, Center for American Progress Action Fund
Dr. Dana Goldman, University of Southern California
Dr. Jonathan Gruber, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Dr. Len Nichols, The New America Foundation
Dr. Alice Rivlin, The Brookings Institution
Dr. Meredith Rosenthal, Harvard University School of Public Health
Dr. Jonathan Skinner, Dartmouth College
Dr. Katherine Swartz, Harvard University School of Public Health
The economists' letter underscores that the two cornerstones of our health care legislation, deficit neutrality and controlling costs, will help to protect the economic security of our nation. As noted by the economists, the Affordable Health Care for America Act takes steps to 'bend the cost curve' and address the long-term sustainability of our health care system. Its reforms may lead to even greater long-term cost savings than CBO has estimated.
The economists' letter adds to the growing chorus of medical professional, senior, small business, and other groups who have expressed support for the House Democratic health care bill.
See more of the organizations and groups representing millions of Americans in support of the House legislation to reduce health care costs, protect and increase consumers' choices, and guarantee access to quality, affordable health care for all Americans>>