Finding a Path to Affordable Health Care

Engaging leaders of private and public health systems in support of comprehensive proposals to contain health care costs

Dates of Project: September 2012 through February 2013, and August 2013 through January 2014

Description: A National Coalition on Health Care Report, Curbing Costs, Improving Care, provided “an alternative to cutting provider reimbursement or reducing the benefits on which the most vulnerable citizens depend.” It identified almost $500 billion in “real budgetary savings, achieved through both lower spending and enhanced revenue.”

Under this RWJF-supported project, which spanned a period from two months before the report’s release until 14 months after, the coalition held a series of meetings to finalize the report’s recommendations, present those recommendations to stakeholder representatives, and explore policy alternatives for controlling health care costs.

“We concluded that to have a chance of implementing our original recommendations, we needed a deeper consensus, buy-in to more detailed, refined policy solutions.”—Project Director Larry McNeely, MPA.

Key Results

  • The coalition convened two meetings shortly before the report’s release to receive final input from key stakeholder groups and technical experts.

  • It held eight meetings following the report’s release to educate key stakeholder groups about its recommendations, explore their impact, and examine alternative perspectives.

  • Through this process, the coalition identified $126 billion in cost savings over 10 years that could be used to offset reform of the Sustainable Growth Rate, Medicare’s system for capping physician payments.

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Repeal of Medicare's Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) would require $100 to $150 billion in budget savings