Health Care Reform Bill Best Option: Analysis

The chosen plan will insure more Americans with least cost to government, think tank says

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TUESDAY, June 8 (HealthDay News) -- The new U.S. health care reform law was the best option for providing health insurance to the largest number of people while keeping federal government costs as low as possible, according to an analysis by the RAND Corp., a nonprofit policy think tank.

Researchers used a specially designed computer model to simulate more than 2,000 different policy scenarios and found that the only alternatives to the new health reform law were all politically difficult because they would have included much higher penalties for noncompliance, lower government subsides, and less generous Medicaid expansion.

Under the new health reform law, about 28 million Americans will be newly insured by 2016, according to the analysis.

"Of all the proposals on the table that would expand health insurance to more Americans, the final health reform law included those that covered the largest number of people at the lowest cost to the federal government," study author Elizabeth A. McGlynn, a senior researcher at RAND, said in a news release from RAND.

"On balance, the new law appears to have landed on a distinctive plain of the policy frontier where the costs and coverage levels achieved were reasonable enough to secure passage of the law," she noted.

The study appears in the June issue of the journal Health Affairs.

More information

The U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has more about health insurance.

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