Larson: AETNA CEO Is Right, We Must Go After $750 Billion A Year In Healthcare Inefficiencies
WASHINGTON – On MSNBC yesterday Mark Bertolini, the CEO of Aetna Insurance – one of the largest insurers in the nation – stressed that “we still have to address the $750 billion a year waste in the [healthcare] system that could more than pay for not only the Affordable Care act, but half the nation’s deficit.” House Democratic Caucus Chairman John Larson (CT) released the following statement applauding Bertolini:
“As we focus on how to create jobs, rebuild our economy, and reduce our deficit, Mark Bertolini – a major player in our nation’s healthcare system – has it right. This is a point I’ve underscored both for addressing the Affordable Care Act and our national debt. Before cutting beneficiaries or shifting costs to seniors or American families, we should be doing everything we can to ensure that the money we have is being used as efficiently as possible.
“There have now been at least four different studies, including a large one by Reuters and one by former CMS Administrator Don Berwick. They all tell us the same thing: There’s at least $750 billion a year in fraud, abuse, waste and inefficiencies that can be saved in our health care system – everything from $30 billion a year because doctors didn’t coordinate, to $200 billion a year in unnecessary treatments, to as much as $270 billion a year in real fraud and abuse. As Bertolini pointed out this week, that’s not only enough to pay for Obamacare, that’s enough to fill in a large part of our deficit.
“The Affordable Care Act included some important steps to start reigning in our healthcare costs and we need to build on those efforts. Government works best when it’s a collective enterprise where we use the talents of the private, academic and governmental sectors to both focus on wellness and improve the quality of care for the American people. All of which, over the long term, will help lower costs and provide a more effective system for the nation.”