Private employers show new interest in expanded Medicare and regulated drug prices

From the article in the LA Times:

“U.S. employers, battered by rising hospital and pharmaceutical prices, are increasingly open to a bigger government role in healthcare, including regulating prices and expanding Medicare to more working Americans.

In one recent survey, more than three-quarters of responding employers said government regulation of drug prices and hospital rates would be “very helpful” or “somewhat helpful.”

About half said a “Medicare public option” — usually understood to mean expanding eligibility for the large government health plan to younger Americans — would be helpful, according to the survey by the National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions, which represents employers that provide health benefits to their workers. That’s up from about 4 in 10 employers who responded to last year’s survey.”

“There is a significant difference in what employers are prepared to support,” said Elizabeth Mitchell, president of the Pacific Business Group on Health, a consortium of large companies including Boeing, Safeway, Walmart and Wells Fargo.

Read the full article here