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Employee Benefits

Same Old, Same Old

Ed Oleksiak
Ed Oleksiak
Sr. Vice President, Employee Benefits

My wife and I eat at our favorite Thai food restaurant on a regular basis. It’s a small, family run restaurant, and Kim waits the tables. I always ask Kim how she’s doing. Inevitably, her answer is, “Same old, same old.” Same old, same old is great for a Thai restaurant with great Thai food. I want the same old, same old. That’s what I expect.

The year 2016 ended with the same old, same old. One of the major insurers resolved a pricing dispute with a major hospital system in the 11th hour. The result will be no patient access disruption and increased prices. Same old, same old.

The question for 2017 is whether the U.S. healthcare system will be same old, same old, or whether we can make significant changes. Let’s face it…the U.S. healthcare system is broke. A few examples:

  • The number of U.S. citizens with chronic conditions continues to increase.
  • Participants’ desire for complete access to all doctors and hospitals limits competition.
  • Lack of price and quality transparency limits competition and prevents consumerism.
  • The list goes on and on…

Can the Trump administration, state governments, doctors, hospitals, consumers, tax payers, employers, and pharmaceutical manufacturers all agree to give a little to solve the problem, or will it be more of the “same old, same old” in 2017? I hope we can change it up.

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