Efforts To Change US Health Care System Must Combine Public, Private Sectors

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Restructuring the U.S. health care system will require cooperation between the public and private sectors, America's Health Insurance Plans CEO Karen Ignagni said at the Montana Healthcare Forum on Monday, the Billings Gazettereports. Ignagni said, "I think we're going to have a mixed system, andwe have to figure out how to get the best of both" sectors to providecoverage for all U.S. residents.

She said that 14 cents of every healthinsurance dollar spent in the U.S. is used for claims processing andadministration, consumer services and profits, and the remaining 86cents is used to pay physicians, hospitals, pharmacies and othermedical services. She said, "Clearly our country has got to get oversimply talking about premiums and health plans. We have to look at theunderlying costs and figure out what's needed going forward," adding,"The fact of the matter is, our premiums track costs. The cost ofpaying claims has declined in the past 10 years." She noted that voterinterest will help determine the outcome of health care reform in theU.S. (Harrington, Billings Gazette, 10/30).
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