BY JAMES C. CAPRETTA
The Bipartisan Policy Center launched the Future of Health Care initiative in 2017 with a bipartisan group of leading national policy experts to create a consensus approach to improving our nation’s health care system. Since then, members have met with actuaries, leaders across the health care industry, state officials, consumer organizations, policy experts, and providers to develop policies aimed at increasing access to affordable insurance coverage, improving quality of care delivered to patients, lowering costs for all Americans, and creating competition throughout the health care sector.
BPC’s group of health care leaders has diligently worked together under the shared belief that the nation’s health care system requires ongoing reform. Recognizing today’s polarized political environment, the approach has been to build upon the current public-private system and offer policymakers a fiscally responsible alternative to repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act on the one hand and “Medicare for All” on the other.
Importantly, in a recent BPC poll, nearly 40% of voters listed improving the current health care system as their top health care reform approach. That reform approach received the most bipartisan support with a plurality of Democrats (46 percent) and Independents (38 percent), and a third of Republicans (32 percent). Among all voters, it was the most popular reform choice.
Today, most national polls—including BPC’s survey—show a majority of Americans believe individuals and families pay too much for their health care and health care is a top concern in the 2020 presidential election. This report is a multifaceted policy prescription for reforming America’s current health care system. It includes recommendations for congressional action that target excessive costs in the private insurance market, Medicare, and Medicaid, and anti-competitive behavior by some pharmaceutical manufacturers and health systems, which is occurring as a result of increasing hospital consolidations.