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Lansing's Economic Doldrums Threaten Broad Health Care Benefits
Continued Economic Slump Leading to Increases in Patient Cost Sharing
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Lansing has a history of relatively comprehensive employee health benefitslargely a result of collective bargaining agreements in the automobile industry. But the continued sluggish economy has prompted employers to start shifting more health care costs to workers. Michigans slow economic recovery also has led to persistent state budget problems, threatening major cuts in public health insurance programs.
"So far, the benefit changes have been modest for the most part, but employers, especially small firms, are looking for ways to shift health costs," said Paul B. Ginsburg, Ph.D., president of HSC, a nonpartisan policy research organization funded principally by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Other key findings of the report, Lansings Calm Health Care Market Belies Increased Competition, Economic Doldrums, which is available here, include:
Lansing is one of 12 communities across the country tracked intensively by HSC researchers through site visits. The new report is based on a May 2005 site visit and interviews with nearly 70 Lansing health care leaders, representing health plans, employers, hospitals, physicians and policy makers.
The Center for Studying Health System Change is a nonpartisan policy research organization committed to providing objective and timely research on the nations changing health system to help inform policy makers and contribute to better health care policy. HSC, based in Washington, D.C., is funded principally by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and is affiliated with Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.