Viewpoint: Vaccine mandates could turn into affordable healthcare mandates


With the relative success of vaccine mandates in keeping employees safe, company mandates may have the potential to lower healthcare costs as well.

A Sept. 13 post authored by Robert Pearl, former Permanente Medical Group executive director and CEO, argued that recent COVID-19 vaccination mandates should pivot into calls for employers to challenge rising healthcare costs. 

With 5.5 percent annual increases in healthcare rates outpacing inflation, employees historically have opted for high-deductible plans to manage costs. 

Instead of attempting to solve the problem with a single-payer system, Mr. Pearl argued that America's largest companies — which form "the nation’s strongest unofficial payer network" through employer-sponsored plans — rally to hold insurers accountable. 

Mr. Pearl penned a sample letter that includes a five-year deadline for payers to eliminate fee-for-service practices, promote tech-based healthcare solutions and provide cost savings that companies can put back into addressing social determinants of health.

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