Political Landscape for Healthcare

by jerry on February 24, 2019
The New York Times published an excellent survey of the political landscape for healthcare in the US. Predictably, many Republicans oppose the Affordable Care Act and want to repeal at least parts of it (there is a lawsuit underway to nullify the key provisions). The main group that the article profiles is a coalition of healthcare stakeholders (including the American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association, America's Health Insurance Plans, and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America) that mostly want the Affordable Care Act to stay the same. The healthcare industry is understandably concerned about consolidation of the purchasing power, especially into the hands of the government, given Medicare's history of reimbursing physicians less than other payers. Further to the left are proposals to expand Medicare, either through a "Medicare for All" proposal (authored by Senator Bernie Sanders) or through a more moderate Medicare buy-in proposal. Interestingly, the "Medicare for All" proposal prohibits employers from duplicating benefits, meaning that the effort goes a long way towards weaning Americans off of employer-based coverage.

Clearly, many people think the current healthcare landscape is broken; however, people disagree on the right approach to fix it.