Media Alert: PricewaterhouseCoopers Publishes Brief on the Impact of Government Health Reform on U.S. Employers

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Health Industry Professionals Available for Comment on Health Reform under Obama

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP today published a brief entitled 10 Minutes on Health Reform under Obama, which addresses how government health reform might alter the employer-based insurance system, the advantages of universal healthcare coverage for the nation's employers and the uninsured as well as the consequences of various proposals, such as "play or pay" requirements for large employers. Part of a series on topics businesses need to know on emerging issues, the brief is available at http://www.pwc.com/10minutesobamahealth.

The eight-page brief boils down the key issues for journalists and employers. It is an extension of a larger report published by PricewaterhouseCoopers' Health Research Institute entitled Healthcare Policy in an Obama Administration: Delivering on the Promise of Universal Coverage, which is at http://www.pwc.com/obamahealthreport .    

The Obama administration has pledged to achieve universal health coverage. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers' analysis, proposed reforms of the U.S. health system would cost the federal government $75 billion a year, in 2009 dollars, and extend health insurance coverage to 95 percent of all Americans, including two-thirds of those currently without insurance.

How universal coverage is achieved will have both advantages and consequences for the nation's employers and private insurance system. The reforms could curb the rising cost of healthcare purchased by government and private employers, which would benefit private employers, who on average pay 80 percent of the cost of worker health benefits. Many also have large retiree health benefit liabilities. A proposed "play or pay" system would require large employers to provide coverage for their workers or face additional taxes, a plan modeled after the Massachusetts universal health insurance plan.

PricewaterhouseCoopers' health industry professionals are available to elaborate on the issues raised in the reports, including:

  •     Employer-sponsored healthcare: Michael Thompson, principal, PwC global human resource solutions group.

Based in New York, Mike has over 25 years of experience in healthcare and employee benefits and consults with major employers and health plans on integrated health, wellness and consumerism, and healthcare supply chain management strategies.

  •     Massachusetts Universal Health Insurance Experience: David Chin, M.D., leader, PwC Health Research Institute. Based in Boston, Dr. Chin oversees PricewaterhouseCoopers Health Research Institute and leads major strategic planning, operations improvement, and health benefit design engagements for insurers, academic medical centers, and large employers in the healthcare advisory practice. He can speak broadly about health reform and specifically about the Massachusetts experience.
  •     Financial Impact, Funding Implications, Medical Cost Trends: Jack Rodgers Ph.D., managing director, PwC health policy economics practice. Jack has more than twenty years of experience with federal health policy and legislation related to health services and prescription drugs. Before joining PwC, Dr. Rodgers was principal analyst for health at the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
  •     Health Reform, Innovation, Transformation, Health IT: David Levy, M.D., principal, PwC global healthcare leader. Based in New York, David is visionary leader and speaker on broad, transformational innovation in the health system and can speak about what the future of the U.S. health system might look like as a universal, more patient-centered health system.

About PricewaterhouseCoopers
PricewaterhouseCoopers (http://www.pwc.com) provides industry-focused assurance, tax and advisory services to build public trust and enhance value for its clients and their stakeholders. More than 155,000 people in 153 countries across our network share their thinking, experience and solutions to develop fresh perspectives and practical advice.

"PricewaterhouseCoopers" refers to the network of member firms of PricewaterhouseCoopers International Limited, each of which is a separate and independent legal entity.

© 2008 PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. All rights reserved

Todd Hall
PricewaterhouseCoopers
617-530-4185

Lisa Stearns
The Hubbell Group, Inc.
781-878-8882

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Todd Hall
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