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Our Healthcare System Needs More Than Policy Overhaul: It’s Time for Private Sector Innovation to Kick into High Gear for Our Health’s Sake

By SACH JAIN

Last year I was heading to a meeting on a Fortune 500 business campus and stumbled upon a bake sale. It was odd to see someone selling cupcakes and breads on the grounds of a major corporation, so I inquired. As it turns out, Judy, an employee, was selling baked goods to finance her insurance deductible for spinal fusion surgery. 

Is this what our system has come to?” I asked myself, “Fundraisers for fusions?” If so, our health system is broken.

No matter how you slice it, Americans spend more on healthcare than any other advanced economy, with households responsible for 28% of that spend according to CMS. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) attempted to address long-standing deficiencies inherent in our fractured healthcare system. However, creating an insurance marketplace hasn’t solved the problem of affordability or the reality of limited access to quality providers. The concept is great, but without private sector buy-in it will never succeed.

President Biden is taking long-overdue steps to address some of the ACA’s shortcomings with Executive Orders. During his campaign, he suggested other actions, like capping marketplace premiums at 8.5% for all income levels with the goal of spurring enrollment and strengthening the ACA with an affordable public option. The recently passed $1.9 trillion stimulus package also incorporates an increase in government subsidies to health insurers for covering workers laid off due to COVID-19 and those purchasing their own coverage. 

This is a start. But it’s not enough. We can’t afford to waste time waiting for policymakers to negotiate rules that may be overturned when a party majority flips.

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#Healthin2Point00, Episode 177 | The biggest funding year for health tech (& more deals!)

We should be celebrating the biggest fundraising year ever for healthcare tech and instead where are we? Not at JP Morgan. Today on Health in 2 Point 00, we chat about the mind-blowingly big numbers for health tech funding this year—Startup Health reported $21.5 billion for the year, Rock Health $14.1 billion. On Episode 177, Jess asks me about Aspen RxHealth raising $23 million in a Series B for their online pharmacy network, Monument getting $10 million for alcohol treatment, Carrum Health raising $40 million for their centers of excellence play, and yet another mental health startup Valera Health raising $4.7 million. —Matthew Holt