Recall that the White House and hospital industry officials announced in July that the industry had agreed to contribute $155 billion in cost savings over 10 years to help pay for the administration’s health care overhaul effort. At the time, some critics of the administration wondered what the hospitals expected in return.
Now a cost-benefit breakdown quietly posted on the Web site of the Tennessee Hospital Association helps fills in the answer.
The breakdown estimates that the industry will receive additional money of about $171 billion over those same 10 years as a result of reimbursements for newly insured patients who would be covered under the overhaul plan. In other words, the hospitals would give up $155 billion in cost cuts, but take in $171 billion in new money — a net gain of $16 billion…
Alain Enthoven, a health economist at Stanford University, noted that $155 billion was only about 1.5 percent of total hospital revenue over 10 years — even before taking into account the new, larger amount of money that hospitals can expect if more people have insurance.