Read TheExchange to learn how Congress can fix the ACA

January 6, 2011

Our quarterly newsletter, TheExchange, is out today.  This issue includes an interview with Alain Enthoven, professor of economics at Stanford University.  Professor Enthoven has been at the heart of the issue of health care reform in this country for many decades; he was the first person to propose consumer-choice health care concepts that later developed into the exchanges in the PPACA. In his interview he gives his first-person perspective on the history of health care reform over the last few decades, and timely advice on three things Congress ought to do as they debate repeal of the legislation. Here’s one thing he recommends:

“I would say to the Democrats:  you should get together with Paul Ryan and change Medicare from its present open ended fee for service model to a defined contribution model.  You have a great opportunity because you’ve got a prominent Republican leader who’s very articulate and smart, and this is something that could possibly appeal to the Republicans if only the Democrats would quit trashing it – quit saying “That’s throwing people out into the free market.”  It’s putting people into a managed, organized market, and they still have guaranteed issue, they still have standardized, competitive coverages. Like Medicare Advantage, with everybody on a level playing field. The basic costs in Medicare now are still driven by open-ended fee for service.”

This issue also has a new, more easily navigated design and other articles that will interest readers of this blog, including two that provide real-life examples of the kinds of challenges our benefit advisors and customer service representatives resolve every day for retirees who work with us.

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