Chamber speaks out on Essential Health Benefits Package

This entry was posted on Monday, August 20th, 2012 at 10:45 pm and is filed under Health System Reform, Public Policy. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Editor’s note: This post includes testimony delivered by Wesley Smith, executive vice president of government affairs and general counsel of the Salt Lake Chamber to the House Health System Reform Task Force, August 16, 2012.

Good morning, I am Wesley Smith. I am the Executive Vice President and General Counsel of the Salt Lake Chamber.

The Salt Lake Chamber supports reform that applies market principles to contain costs and improve health. Such reform includes increasing transparency of cost and quality, as well as fostering competition and providing incentives for patients, doctors, hospitals and insurers to utilize resources in ways that lead to measurably better outcomes.

We support bold action to contain unsustainable health care costs.

Several years ago the Utah’s business leaders came together to sign the Health System Reform Business Bill of Rights and Responsibilities. This document was signed by business organizations representing half of all Utah businesses. In that document, businesses stated, regarding an essential health benefit package:

Essential benefit package:  We have the right to ask our government to work with the private sector to define an essential benefit package that will cover preventive, primary and emergency care. Although defining a basic benefit is complicated and difficult, it is an important step in achieving health care coverage for all Utah residents, encouraging individuals to be wise consumers of health care and allowing competition to control costs.

The Salt Lake Chamber supports the adoption of a plan with minimal health coverage mandates to serve as Utah’s benchmark. We view this type of a plan to be the most conducive to controlling currently unsustainably rising health care costs. As Utah’s largest and longest serving business association, we support bold action to contain health care costs.


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