Earlier this week, CHA testified before the Legislature in two separate hearings about the proposed state Office of Health Care Affordability, part of Gov. Newsom’s plan to rein in health care costs.
This is a valuable opportunity to bring hospitals’ voice to a conversation that could remake the way health care is delivered and paid for in California for decades to come. With such massive change in the balance, it’s vital that we ensure policy makers and other stakeholders know three things:
- Affordability is a key component of hospitals’ unwavering commitment to care for all Californians in all ways. Health care is among our most basic needs, yet for millions in our state the rising cost of care has made it difficult to access the services they need.
- This work is highly complex and to successfully make care more affordable demands equal responsibility and engagement from all segments of the health care field, including providers, insurers, drug makers, medical device suppliers, labor, and others.
- Any efforts to reduce costs cannot jeopardize people’s ability to get high-quality care when and where they need it.
That’s why we support the concept of an Office of Health Care Affordability. This new mechanism is a far better approach than the alternatives – hospital rate setting or a single-payer system in California.
As the Legislature and Governor’s administration continue to structure and strategize for the new Office of Health Care Affordability, we’re in the mix, urging them to establish — from the outset — processes and systems that will help successfully achieve this monumental undertaking and steer clear of unintended consequences. If we don’t get this right, it will be our patients, our employees, and our communities that suffer.
Hospitals are committed to doing our part. We look forward to working with policy leaders to develop the appropriate structure for this office so the needs of all Californians can be met.