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EMPLOYERS SHOW LITTLE CONSENSUS ON HEALTH CARE REFORM PROPOSALS; EMPLOYERS FAVOR FREE-MARKET, VOLUNTARY HEALTH CARE INSURANCE SYSTEM

 EMPLOYERS SHOW LITTLE CONSENSUS ON HEALTH CARE REFORM PROPOSALS;


EMPLOYERS FAVOR FREE-MARKET, VOLUNTARY HEALTH CARE INSURANCE SYSTEM
 NEW YORK, May 11 /PRNewswire/ -- U.S. employers believe non- government solutions will go further toward solving the health care cost crisis than any of the reform proposals under consideration in Washington, a new survey reports.
 The nationwide poll of 850 employers found none of the proposals received the support of more than one-third of the respondents. However, employers demonstrate strong backing for non-government solutions such as managed care and health plan consolidation to the probls?oaring health costs. Additionally, most respondents want employee health care benefits to remain non-taxable, and more than half believe the voluntary nature of employer-sponsored benefit plans should be retained.
 The survey was conducted by Foster Higgins, the New York-based international employee benefits consulting firm.
 According to the poll, the Bush proposal based on the use of tax incentives and credits is most favored (31 percent). Twenty-two percent favor the "play or pay" approach while 16 percent say tax-subsidized individual coverage (Heritage Foundation) is the best approach. The single-payer, government-financed system such as the Canadian system is least favored (14 percent). In fact, 40 percent of the respondents said this approach is the alternative they oppose the most, and they view it as least able to promote high-quality care.
 Despite the lack of consensus on the health care reform proposals, the survey found employers demonstrating strong backing for non- government solutions to the health care cost crisis.
 More than three-fourths (77 percent) support greater use of managed care plans to create price competition, the survey noted. A strong majority (76 percent) also favor lowering administrative costs through creating small employer pools and consolidating plan options through point-of-service plans.
 Most respondents favor malpractice reform initiatives (92 percent); 80 percent advocate making employees more prudent health care consumers through cost-sharing techniques and 40 percent support extending the Medicare fee schedule to all payers. Fewer than two of 10 respondents (19 percent) support imposing government spending caps on health care.
 /delval/
 -0- 5/11/92
 /CONTACT: Ed Emerman of Foster Higgins, 609-520-2766/ CO: Foster Higgins ST: New York IN: INS SU: ECO


MP-KA -- PH014 -- 8585 05/11/92 11:26 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 11, 1992
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