High and rising health care costs consume a large and rapidly growing portion of the federal budget, crowding out investments in other crucial priorities such as education, defense and infrastructure and putting pressure on other priorities of households, businesses and governments.
This trend will only accelerate with the aging of the population and its increased dependence on federal and state financing of health care. Yet despite our high national spending, health care in the United States is uneven in quality and often wasteful, uncoordinated and inefficient. Leaders on both sides of the political aisle, and in the health and economic policy communities, recognize the urgency of improving the quality and effectiveness of care, while slowing the growth of spending. However, far too often, attempts to address our nation’s health and budget issues have been fragmented and unproductive, frequently due to partisan disagreements over how to approach these highly sensitive issues.
We, the four leaders of the Bipartisan Policy Center Health Care Cost Containment Initiative, came together to bridge this divide—to start a constructive dialogue on strengthening the U.S. health care system.