Washington, D.C.– The following is a statement from the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Expert Panel on the Future of Health Care, following passage of the American Health Care Act by the U.S. House of Representatives:
“As the health care reform debate now moves to the U.S. Senate, the policymaking process should be thoughtful and transparent, with congressional hearings and opportunity for bipartisan input. Any legislation advancing to the Senate floor must include an analysis from the Congressional Budget Office. Cooperation across party lines is critical to creating legislation that will be sustainable over the long term. The current political debate on health care is in part the result of the inability of the parties to work together and compromise. A fully partisan result this year will exacerbate existing divisions and make it more difficult to find a lasting solution.
“In our conversations with state leaders, policymakers, payers, providers, and patients over the past several months, one message is clear—a reformed health care system must be affordable and sustainable.
“We believe there are several potential areas of common ground, including policies that:
- Ensure broad-based participation in private health insurance markets and constrain premium increases through financing mechanisms to address risk;
- Provide additional opportunities and innovation in Medicaid, without creating undue risk for states and people in the program;
- Subsidize premiums in ways that promote tax equity for Americans who do not have access to coverage through their jobs or through federal or state programs;
- Encourage value-based benefit designs that promote medically appropriate care and avoid either over- or under-utilization of care; and
- Increase the efficiency of health care services through appropriate combinations of public and private sector incentives.
“Meaningfully improving our health care system is not easy and requires bipartisan cooperation. We encourage the Senate to move in this direction.”
This statement is from the BPC’s Expert Panel on the Future of Health Care: Former Senate Majority Leaders Tom Daschle (D-SD) and Bill Frist, M.D. (R-TN) ; former Acting Administrator CMS Andy Slavitt; former HCFA Administrator Gail Wilensky; Avik Roy, BPC senior advisor and president of the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity; Cindy Mann, former director, Center for Medicaid; James Capretta, resident fellow, Milton Friedman chair, AEI; Alice Rivlin, senior fellow, Center for Health Policy, Brookings Institution; Sheila Burke, BPC fellow and strategic advisor, Baker Donelson; and Chris Jennings, BPC fellow and president of Jennings Policy Strategies.