The new law passed by the US federal government called the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act while designed to help the poorest in society could shift the burden of health insurance costs onto employees.
That’s the view of a number of experts who believe that the new legal framework could usher in a new age of health consumerism.
The US is one of the few countries where health spending for the most part is still considered to be a product to be bought and sold in the marketplace without Government help. However this has resulted in millions of American citizens not being covered effectively by health insurance.
President Obama despite severe opposition from Republicans, business leaders and others, pushed through the Act in order for those unable to afford health care or not able to get insurance will not lose out.
But ironically, while this may help those in need, it could also put more financial pressure on others, notably employees. This is certainly the view of Robin Gelburd, president of Fair Health, which is a New York City not for profit organisation that provides healthcare cost information. He told reporters: “A greater role in cost sharing is really forcing consumers to take a hard look at the care they access.”
The main point Mr. Gelburd is making is how insurance companies themselves react to the provisions in the new Act. He believes that despite the fact that they will not be allowed to not insure anyone with a pre-diagnosed illness, they could become more creative in how they operate.
The Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act is due to be implemented in 2014.