‘Im­per­fect but ef­fec­tive’

Modern Healthcare - - Healthcare Opinion Leaders Survey -

Care Act, be­tween Jan. 3 and Feb. 1.

A to­tal of 203 opin­ion lead­ers from the health­care de­liv­ery, fi­nance and pol­icy fields par­tic­i­pated in the sur­vey, the 24th in a se­ries de­signed to gather opin­ions from health­care lead­ers on timely pol­icy is­sues.

Pre­mium sub­si­dies had the most sup­port among var­i­ous com­po­nents of the health­care law. A to­tal of 68% of par­tic­i­pants de­scribed it as “very im­por­tant” for the gov­ern­ment to im­ple­ment the law’s pub­lic fund­ing of pri­vate in­surance pre­mi­ums, while an ad­di­tional 19% of re­spon­dents agreed that in­surance pre­mium sup­ports were “im­por­tant.”

Dr. F. Dou­glas Carr, med­i­cal di­rec­tor of ed­u­ca­tion and sys­tem ini­tia­tives at the Billings (Mont.) Clinic, in an e-mail de­scribed such pri­vate in­surance sub­si­dies and the fu­ture sol­vency of Medi­care as “the ele­phant in the room,” which tight­en­ing fi­nances will re­quire fu­ture ses­sions of Congress to ad­dress.

Even as con­gres­sional Repub­li­cans con­tinue to chal­lenge the law leg­isla­tively and state at­tor­neys gen­eral chal­lenge its com­po­nents in court, sig­nif­i­cant com­bined ma­jori­ties of health­care lead­ers de­scribed im­ple­men­ta­tion of var­i­ous com­po­nents of the health­care law as “im­por­tant” or “very im­por­tant,” in­clud­ing state in­surance ex­changes (86%), the in­di­vid­ual man­date (84%) and the Cen­ter for Medi­care and Med­i­caid In­no­va­tion (83%).

“Health­care lead­ers look to the ACA as an im­per­fect but ef­fec­tive ve­hi­cle for chang­ing the health­care de­liv­ery sys­tem,” Carr said. “They want to build on it, not dis­man­tle it.”

Also, 82% of re­spon­dents iden­ti­fied the law’s ex­pan­sion of Med­i­caid el­i­gi­bil­ity to at least 16 mil­lion more peo­ple as “im­por­tant” or “very im­por­tant,” which sur­prised Dr. Robert Crit­ten­den, a pro­fes­sor of fam­ily med-

Carr calls sol­vency of Medi­care “the ele­phant in the room.”

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