February 6, 2018 In The News

Bloomberg: Strange Bedfellows? Group Unites Old Foes in Hunt for Health Fix

Some big names in health care want to fix what they see as a broken system. First, they are mending Fences. Last year, a ferocious partisan battle left the Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama’s signature health law, fractured but largely intact… United States of Care… will push for policy changes based on the idea that despite deep political divisions,Americans want many of the same things when it comes to their health.

“The reality is that there are tons of details that almost everyone agrees on, we just don’t focus on them,” said [Andy] Slavitt, who will serve as the USC’s chairman. “Public sentiment is fairly well unified in ways that Washington isn’t.” The group is starting out as steadily rising costs reshape health care. Companies are striking unconventional deals, such as the proposed acquisition of insurer Aetna Inc. by pharmacy chain CVS Health Corp. Corporate giants Amazon.com Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Berkshire Hathaway Inc. are joining up to try to push down employee health expenses. And hospitals led by Utah’s Intermountain Health Care Inc. are considering making generic drugs.

Such developments underline a broad dissatisfaction with the health-care system, said Mike Leavitt, a former Republican governor of Utah and Health and Human Services Secretary in the George W. Bush administration who is among the group’s members. “What you see with Berkshire and JPMorgan and Amazon, those are data points that say there’s energy behind the collaborative improvement of health care,” he said. “What you’re sensing is common pain that is ultimately bringing people together.”

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