Midwest • Aug. 12, 2004
“Medical costs rise 11 percent or more for five consecutive years in Wisconsin, and more in other nearby states, and we wonder why? Perhaps the Journal should do a study on how much of the increased costs is a result of lower payments to doctors and hospitals by the federal government. The cost shift from government to private insurance has, I believe, been growing at an alarming rate since 1993. Government now pays between 30 to 40 percent of the cost of providing that care, with the balance being left for the hospitals and doctors to shift to private pay and insurance companies through increasingly higher rates. Will it stop soon? Not a chance. The federal government is constantly trying to lower their reimbursement, without consideration for increased costs of the providers. When can we expect to see a story on this issue?”
- Jim Gislason, Vincennes, Ind.