Page images

to containing health costs" and thus would be likely to succeed wtiere previous measures have failed". "It embodies long-advocated principles like prospective budgets for hospitals, already approved in principle" by the hospital and health insurance industry".

Glasser added that "negotiation is a inajor element." "Hospitali and doctors would be encouraged to ork together and eliminate aine!! sive duplications," he added.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

''!e council acknowlednoj thirt : plan is liinitird. For : 1:1;. 1. it wouldn't help the unemployed who have lost or the working poor who have lost Mudicaid protection under the budget cuts of the past two fiscal years.

"A comprehensive national health insurance program is needed to help these people and millions of others," said the Council. But "since it does not appear politically viable at this time, H.A.L.T. offers an immediate program of restraining costs and protecting consumers."


Under the Reagan budget cuts approved by Congress, over million people have been cut from the Medicaid rolls and millions of others have suffered reduced benefits.

Rep. Charles B. Rangel (D-N.Y.) recently wrote his House colleagues, "We want to avoid the annual agony and bloodlotting which has been taking place as we seek piecemeal economies in a health system which is out of control. The H.A.L.T. plan gives us an opportunity to do that."

[ocr errors]

I neply concerned with what is happening to the lenticiaries of picalth prograins as a result of budget chakes Congr.::jade ist year and last month. J:cross, siuctibics ind co;> ment: arc murting the arly rocy.

Ovi? allion ople have been cut from the Medicaid roll:. Those who still have Medicaid so055? !( stay on the tightrope between larger and laitez oics in the safety net, as limits and restrictions proliferare. Nineteen states liv ülready limited use ci crije:y Roons and Outpatient Departments, while 1:20n1y-ons have decreased numbers of visits to doctors, pociiatrists and opronetrists. Ivo states will no IcrgoSuprly eyes. e., een1. W ciiiarus. minc states have limited the irequency of prescriptions one state to a maximum of $30 per month.

Co-insurance requirement: havo riu.tiplied in the last year fron 50 cents per poscription, to $2 for ambulance services. Ono state requires a medically needy individual, who already has proved indigency, to pay $30 as a condition of admission to a liospital. The millions of workers who have lost their jobs and family health protection as well, the elderly diabetic no longer abic :o aiford insulin, the inner city hospitals under pressure to discharge extremely ill pacients when their allowanie twelve days ar "P, confront us with some of the results of Congressional actions and state implement: 10.

[ocr errors]

I believe that surely, ... the evidence now accumulated, the Members of Congress recognize that he ya; we save gone about: rcaucire", ! cponciitures for health projrami 1: uncntis cior. The Siow that it will probably be re:C085731.j Stroich 2 sinilai: nabissacar prins :: 7.

[ocr errors]

ul ail:e: possible a reduction du vise animés is liorowe required to spend for weliсaid catching.

Rather than restraining ...creases in cost of hospital care alone, or hospital care under medicare alone, the plan deals with all the principle cost increasing elements in the health care system.

Finally, this is a cost catainment, rather than a cost shifting, prograin.. As such it is a major constructive alternative to the present decreases in Federal expenditures in health prograins by means of increasing obligations of the state, the locality, the private sector and individual patients. I hope it will be possible for you to attend the briefing session at which technical experts will be available to outline the plan and *791r !!es:10n!


Charles B. Rangel


[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

1. Q.

What is H.A.L.T.? (Health Action to Limit Takeaways)


It is a comprehensive plan to contain health care costs
in the public and private sectors while at the same time
protecting consumers of care.

[blocks in formation]


It was developed by an expert group advisory to a coalition
of labor, business, civic, fraternal, religious, senior
citizen and farm organizations working together in the
Health Security Action Council.



Why is H.A.L.T. needed now ?
Because under the pressure of declining federal resources
Congress has made deep slashes in needed major health
programs like Medicare and Medicaid, causing hardships
to the elderly, the disabled, the working poor and the
poor, and threatening the fiscal soundness of hospitals,
nursing homes and other institutions which serve the sick
and the handicapped. And it seems clear that further
program cuts are in prospect.
Has not the action of Congress in each of the last two
years put a stop to the runaway inflation in health care

4. Q.


No. Costs of health services continue to rise at a sub-
stantially more rapid rate than the C.P.I. Most of the
."savings" in the Federal budget achieved by the health
cuts adopted in the last two years have been achieved
through denying people needed, health services, or trans-
ferring costs to the private sector, to the states, and
to consumers of care. These are not genuine cost reductions.

5. Q.

But regardless of the merits of the Administration and
Congress' actions, hasn't the problem already been dealt with?


No. The Administration and some members of Congress have already indicated. that additional major reductions are likely to be proposed in Medicare, Medicaid and child health programs.

6. Q:

Why is the private sector included in the HALT plan?


Because experience to date indicates that health care
financing is like a balloon. If one part, e.g. public
expenditures are squeezed, the rest of the balloon, private
insurance and out of pocket costs, get fatter.

aim of
HALT is to take some of the air out of the balloon.


« PreviousContinue »