The introduction of private health insurance could prove crucial in any public healthcare overhaul, to ensure efficiency.
This is the view of a report from the Commonwealth Fund, which has found that between 2010 and 2020 the US could make savings of as much as $265 billion.
Such gains may be made by proposing a mixed public and private reform strategy that will entail lower administrative costs and therefore enable savings to be made.
Commonwealth fund president Karen Davis, who is also co-author of the report, commented: "Health reform can help pay for itself, but both private and public insurance choices are critically important.
"A public insurance plan can help drive new efficiencies in the system that will produce large cost reductions. Without a public plan, much of those potential savings will be lost."
The Commonwealth Fund seeks to promote a more effective healthcare system in the US that considers the needs of individuals who are uninsured, from deprived backgrounds and vulnerable groups.
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Private medical insurance: News update: 17/07/2009