OPENING STATEMENT AT PRESS CONFERENCE ON LABOR-MANAGEMENT INNOVATIONS IN CONTROLLING COST OF EMPLOYEE HEALTH CARE BENEFITS

by Jakina Debnam on September 17, 1976
by Jakina Debnam and William Lilley

Rising health care costs are a major policy problem facing our nation today. Medical care prices have outpaced the overall rate of inflation for over a decade. Due to dramatic increases in the demand for and utilization of services, total national health expenditures have tripled since 1965.

These dramatic medical cost increases impact severely on the largest private consumers of medical care — employers and labor unions. Since 1965, employer and employee contributions to employee health care benefit plans have more than tripled. In recent years health insurance premiums have risen sharply, as much as 30 percent or more in one year for some plans. In response to the rising cost of health benefit plans, employers and unions are increasingly supporting a variety of approaches to control the costs of providing employee health care coverage.

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