(07/17/2002)
Unless there are major shifts in the way health care is delivered to West Virginia families, the average costs for a family will be $16,272, according to the CEO of Mountain State Blue Cross/Blue Shield.

Greg Smith told a legislative interim committee the current cost shifting system will collapse. He said private businesses, small employers and individuals cannot continue to support the health care system.

West Virginian's will face the crisis within five years, he said.

He spoke about soaring prices linked to prescription drug prices. He said in 1995 the drug manufacturers spent $50 million on advertising, and last year that figure rose to $2 billion.


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