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COOPERS & LYBRAND SAYS PRESIDENT-ELECT CLINTON'S HEALTH CARE REFORM PROPOSAL WILL FOCUS ON GLOBAL BUDGETING AND EMPLOYER MANDATES

 COOPERS & LYBRAND SAYS PRESIDENT-ELECT CLINTON'S HEALTH CARE REFORM
 PROPOSAL WILL FOCUS ON GLOBAL BUDGETING AND EMPLOYER MANDATES
 NEW YORK, Nov. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- If some or all of President-elect Bill Clinton's health care reform proposal is implemented, employers will operate future health benefit programs in an environment that will differ significantly from the current one, say health and welfare, specialists at Coopers & Lybrand, the international accounting and consulting firm.
 Coopers & Lybrand expects Clinton's strategy to focus on two major issues: cost management through a global budgeting process and universal access through a basic benefits package and employer mandates.
 According to Coopers & Lybrand, if implemented, global budgeting will apply pressure on insurers to develop new or revamped insurance products and negotiate favorable terms with health care providers. Providers, in turn, will face increasing pressure to provide health care services in the most cost-effective manner. As a result, managed care programs, which are based on organized networks of health care providers, are expected to gain membership.
 "To the extent that managed care networks compete against each other and that a tight global budget is adhered to, employers can expect to experience more manageable health care costs over the next several years," says Timothy F. Ray, a Coopers & Lybrand partner and national director of its Human Resource Advisory Group's health benefits consulting practice. "On the downside, many opponents of global budgeting object to this relatively high level of government intervention and contend that it would lead to de facto price setting and reduced competition among health plans and providers."
 Ray says the employer perspective on mandated benefits is mixed. "Although many employers object to increased federal regulation of employee benefit programs, a universal mandate is one way to create a level playing field and reduce cost shifting and hidden subsidies. To the extent that Hawaii's experience with employer mandates can be generalized to the country as a whole," he continues, "we may be able to anticipate lower health care spending and fewer uninsured people in the future."
 Ray explains that many employers object to a new set of government regulations and the resulting lack of flexibility to change their benefit plans in response to changes in their business environment. "It is also feared that, despite efforts to make insurance more affordable for small or marginally profitable employers, some members of this vulnerable group may be unable to stay in business if a health benefit mandate is imposed."
 -0- 11/09/92
 /CONTACT: Amy J. Goldberger of Coopers & Lybrand, 212-536-3256/ CO: ST: IN: HEA SU: ECO


SH-AH -- NY098 -- 8858 11/09/92 15:51 EST
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Date:Nov 9, 1992
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