North Carolina’s health care value proposition is upside down, with high health care costs and below-average outcomes. There’s no question that North Carolina must focus on value-driven health care in order to make costs more predictable and to improve health outcomes among patients. Health care mandates are not the answer.
Year after year, legislators introduce health care mandates to address specific health care challenges, and this legislative session is no different. This piecemeal approach to solving our state’s health care dilemma will not produce long-term solutions that address the crux of the issue at hand – health care value. If North Carolina is serious about making its people healthier, while providing care at a predictable, more manageable cost, we cannot continually rely on mandates to cherry pick the challenges addressed. It hasn’t been a viable strategy in the past and it’s not one for the future.
Mandates carry significant price tags for both small and large employers. The cumulative cost of the mandates alone would increase the overall cost of a job for many businesses. Mandates also remove individual choice from the health care equation, reducing options for patients. It is for these reasons, the NC Chamber has long opposed health care mandates.
As the ultimate payer of health care, be it through premiums, self-insuring or state and federal taxes, job creators have the power to improve value and lead transformative change. Mandates won’t provide the predictability employers need, but until our business community steps up to demand value, we can only expect the same cyclical approach to solving our state’s health care challenges. As home to world-class hospital systems, top research institutions, prominent life science companies and a booming business climate, North Carolina is well positioned to drive health care value. But first, stakeholders along the health care supply chain – including employers – must stop operating in silos and come together to drive value. I look forward to sharing ways in which employers can work with the entire health care supply chain to bring value-driven health care to North Carolina.
Gary J. Salamido
Chief Operating Officer and Acting President