In response to Sandra Heffern’s commentary, “Repealing 80th percentile rule is vital to Alaska,” her argument is that the only way to reduce health care costs in Alaska is for health care insurers like Premera to bring them into the network and control how much they will pay. She emphasizes the difference between price and cost, with the insurer focusing on the price they pay and health care providers concerned with the cost of providing care. Heffern compared Premera Alaska’s health care costs to those in Washington, but did not provide information on what other commercial insurers are currently paying. She also mentioned Medicaid and Medicare, but failed to offer specific comparisons to commercial insurance products.
Heffern’s point is that it would be difficult for Premera to compare the amounts paid for health care across multiple payers, as Alaska does not have the structure to collect or analyze this data. She suggests that an all-payer claims database, like those in other states, would help better understand who is paying for what. However, she notes that health care pricing and costs are complicated, and that providers strive to provide high-quality care for Alaska patients.
Grazko’s commentary highlights a key issue facing Alaska: Healthcare costs are too high. While he believes repealing the 80th percentile rule will help reduce these costs by giving insurers more control over pricing, Heffern argues that it may not be as simple as that. Healthcare pricing and costs are complex issues that require careful consideration before making any changes.
As such, Heffern invites others to share their thoughts by submitting letters to [firstname.lastname@example.org](mailto:email@example.com) or via web browser. Writers should disclose any personal or professional connections with the subjects of their letters, and letters are edited for accuracy, clarity, and length.
In conclusion, Grazko’s commentary provides an interesting perspective on how repealing the 80th percentile rule could potentially impact healthcare costs in Alaska. However, Heffern’s counterpoint raises important points about how complex healthcare pricing and costs can be when considering factors such as quality of care provided by providers.
Ultimately, it will take a collaborative effort from policymakers, healthcare providers