At the top of my wish list would be addressing thecost of health CARE ratherthan focusing on the cost of health INSURANCE. A major factor inthe rising cost of health care in our country is that the consumeris too far removed from the actual cost of their care. As a result,the cost of care continues to rise, as does the cost ofinsurance.

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Our current third-party payer health care system does notinduce, nor in many cases afford the opportunity, for a consumer todetermine the value of the care they are considering. Only theconsumer can determine if the value of the resources used for theirmedical treatment are greater than the value provided by themedical treatment. When they are paying 20 percent of the cost ofthe medical treatment, the determination of the value of the careis very different than it is when they are paying 100 percent ofthe cost of the care. If we put consumers back in control ofdetermining efficient quality and quantity, that will drive downthe cost of health care and in turn, bring down the cost of healthinsurance.

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Joni Reents

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President-Elect

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Reents Insurance Agency

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Colorado State Association of Health Underwriters

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Both sides of the aisle in Congress and the Presidentialcandidates agree that the 40 percent excise tax the value ofemployer plans above a government-determined threshold has to berepealed. Employers and employees who have coverage through theircompanies agree that eliminating this onerous and unfair tax shouldbe a top priority. Not only will the tax, set to take effect in2020, ensnare more and more plans each year because of its flawedindexing, but also it is a misdirected attempt to reduce healthcare costs. It's not at all clear that the tax will have any effecton reducing costs as long as the perverse incentives for hospitalsand physicians to drive up costs remain.

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Steve Wojcik

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Vice President, Public Policy

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National Business Group on Health

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My wish list for the ACA, which can be generalizedto most of government at this time, is that conservatives andliberals could discuss this issue with civility, thoughtfulness andselflessness. Fiscal conservatives say we can't afford the ACAwithout proposing a rational alternative, liberals automaticallydismiss the concerns of conservatives about cost. Neithergovernment nor the business markets are the source of all good orall evil. Health insurance is often a matter of life and death andI think we can agree that politicians need to be more humble,willing to listen and be more informed rather that attacking theother for differing opinions. There is lots of work to do!

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Tandice Tinney

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VP Service Operations,

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Paul Wilson

Paul Wilson is the editor-in-chief of BenefitsPRO Magazine and BenefitsPRO.com. He has covered the insurance industry for more than a decade, including stints at Retirement Advisor Magazine and ProducersWeb.