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.Continue reading…