July’s Press Club Noon Forum focused on the Healthcare Reform resulting from the Affordable Care Act, also called Obamacare.
Doctor Harris Frankel, Assistant Professor for the Department of Neurological Sciences at UNMC, and Sean McGuire, Founder of E.D. Bellis Healthcare Consulting, were the guest speakers.
One of the key questions on attendees’ minds was whether taxpayers will pay more for healthcare once the law is fully implemented. Frankel said costs will definitely not go down.
"The healthcare system does not follow standard economic principles. It is not supply and demand, so the more demand there is, the cheaper things get. If the demand for services goes up as a function of more people being covered, it’s hard to imagine how the absolute cost of our delivery system will get less.”
McGuire said data he’s seen indicates premiums will rise by at least 7.5% for at least the next three years.
"And because of that you’re seeing workers, and this has been going on for awhile now, workers are not seeing wage increases because the cost of doing business is going up, particularly because of healthcare costs. Their employers are choosing to cover their insurance instead of give them wages.”
Parts of the Affordable Care Act are already in place. Others will take effect in 2014.
The Omaha Press Club’s complete presentation on Healthcare Reform will air Monday, September 17th at Noon on KIOS.