The Joint Fiscal Office this morning unveiled an in-house analysis examining the potential long-term savings under Act 48 – the health care reform law passed earlier this year.
Headlines will likely focus on the number “$1.8 billion,” the amount by which Vermont could reduce overall medical expenditures by 2020 under a best-case scenario, according to the report.
Really, though, it’s impossible to say.
The report, prepared by members of the Joint Fiscal Office and BISHCA (with “assistance” from Policy Integrity, LLC, a firm that specializes in the development of health care policy), compares two parallel realities: one with Act 48, and the other without it.
Act 48, the controversial law that aims to create a publicly funded, universal system of care, will produce savings – anywhere from $553 million to $1.8 billion annually by 2020 – the study’s authors say.
Without Act 48, or any of the reforms contained therein, total health care expenditures will rocket from $4.7 billion in 2009 to $10 billion in 2020.
The 45-page report, however, is saturated with caveats underscoring the difficulty of producing statistically meaningful savings projections.
“It is important to understand that projection of health care spending and estimation of savings are inexact sciences,” the authors write in the executive summary.
Despite basing the findings on the “best available information and methodologies,” the findings, authors say, “will still have a substantial margin of error.”
Members of Joint Fiscal and BISHCA will hold a press availability in about an hour to brief reporters on the document.