On March 15, Governor Dayton's Supplemental Budget was released. In it, he recommends "funding a study to compare costs and benefits of a universal/single-payer health care system versus a free market insurance-based approach." This action follows one of the recommendations of the state task force.
Brainerd Dispatch, March 21, 2016
by Dr. Charles R. Peterson and Don Pylkkanen
Some weeks ago a health care article in a major Minnesota newspaper reported, "This year, the average premium in the individual market is up 41 percent." The state's current total health care cost of about $50 billion is projected by a Minnesota Department of Health estimate to reach $76.5 billion in 2022. At that point it would represent 20 percent of the state economy. What can be done about this trend?
The answer is that the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) provides an opportunity starting in 2017 for any state to improve its health care system with the law's State Innovation Waiver. Both a state agency and a privately designed proposal are in the works under the waiver.
Last September the Minnesota Department of Health and Human Services presented a plan to improve Minnesota's health system, primarily through increased use of existing and new Accountable Care Organizations. ACOs are large, physician-hospital groups voluntarily organized around cost-quality measurable benchmarks. Savings and risks are shared between payers and providers based on these performance standards.
The ACO concept was introduced about a decade ago on a premise that tightly integrated physician-hospital units with dollar-incentivized benchmarks would produce significant cost savings without compromising quality. However, multiple pilot and demonstration projects to date show that ACOs, like previous HMOs, PPOs, and other managed care systems have little, if any, effect on medical cost inflation.