AsK THe eXPerTs
Competition in the
how do we contain rising
health care costs?
Senator Thomas Daschle
Greater transparency of
the health care system
Efficient and effective
allocation of resources
For too long, Americans have been at the mercy of insurance compa- nies who, using faulty assumptions and loop- holes, have gamed the
system at the expense of middle
class families—hiking up premiums
to unfair and unsustainable levels
and dropping health care coverage
when people are most in need.
But with the passage of the Affordable Care Act, the balance of power is
shifting back to the American people.
The new law contains the broad-est package of health care cost-cut-ting measures in American history:
investing in prevention; reimbursing
providers based on the quality, not
quantity, of care they provide; and
setting new rules that hold insurers
For the first time, insurers will be
required to publicly justify premium
increases, thus limiting companies’
ability to push less healthy individuals and small businesses off their rolls.
And if insurers spend premiums on excessive administrative costs instead
of medical care and quality improvement, policy holders will get rebates.
The law introduces much-needed
competition into the insurance mar-
ket. Beginning in 2014, Americans will
be able to buy affordable health cover-
age through innovative state-based ex-
changes, and for the first time insurers
will need to compete for their business
by lowering prices and strengthening
services. Starting this year, $250 mil-
lion will be available in grant money
for states to monitor insurance com-
panies and keep those that hike up
their rates excessively from partici-
pating in the exchanges.