Earlier this week, the Zetema Project hosted a discussion at the Commonwealth Club with former Medicaid/Medicare administrators Gail Wilensky and Andy Slavitt. They discussed health policy under the Trump administration, including the potential effects of the Better Care Reconciliation Act currently making its way through the Senate.
The rise in fitness apps and wearable technologies that push us to adopt healthier and more active lifestyles is an undeniable sign that Americans are taking more interest in owning their health. The trend toward more patient and consumer engagement is also complemented and challenged by the growing reality that more healthcare costs are being passed onto the consumer in the form of high premiums and out-of-pocket payments.
Members of the Zetema Project, a diverse panel of healthcare leaders representing both parties and all the major stakeholder groups, are offering their responses to the replacement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) recently proposed by House Republicans. The American Health Care Act (ACHA) seeks to fulfill President Trump’s campaign promise to immediately repeal and replace the ACA, and the President has enthusiastically endorsed the bill.
Legislation of this gravity demands transparency and should have benefit of the normal legislative process to allow for public hearings with feedback from patients and consumers groups as well as providers on the front lines. Forcing a rapid decision without the input from key non-partisan entities such as the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC), the Medicare Payment Advisory Committee (MedPAC) or the Government Accountability Office (GAO) is irresponsible or could be interpreted as deceitful.
The House draft is a useful starting point for the debate that will now ensue on how to repeal and replace the mess that is Obamacare. We need to reduce the role of the national government in healthcare, fix the damage done to the individual market, restore choice to people, give flexibility to states, relieve Obamacare's burdensome taxes on individuals and businesses, and get HHS out of the business of being the nation's insurance commissioner.