Conversation on Healthcare

Several leading policy experts discussed “Healthcare in the Trump Era” at the FleishmanHillard Roundtable conversation held at the National Press Club on June 21, 2017. The Roundtable brought together diverse perspectives from both sides of the aisle to discuss ideas on how healthcare should move forward.

Mark Senak, J.D, Senior Vice President and Partner, Healthcare at FleishmanHillard as moderator, explored solutions and a number of ideas with key opinion leaders. Jim Gerlach, CEO and President for the Business-Industry Political Action Committee, Former Member of Congress (R-PA) emphasized how solving issues in healthcare requires bipartisan support.

He also pointed out that the goals for the healthcare system needs to address access to care for all, address pre-existing conditions, find out what specifically is affecting families, and provide for reforms and programs in healthcare that are sustainable. However, it may be necessary to compromise on some issues.

He said, “Every issue discussed in the political environment that we live in today very often results in protests since some people can’t come to an agreement on the fundamental role of government or who should pay for healthcare.”

“Healthcare is very personal and affects everyone especially when families have their own personal priorities. Finding the right solutions and developing smarter financing to enable lower premiums for more Medicare beneficiaries is a work in progress, but we must reach these goals”, according to Allyson Y. Schwartz, CEO and President Better Medicare Alliance and Former Member of Congress (D-PA)

She stressed that it is important to find common ground not only in one’s own party but equally important to reach across the aisle. If this isn’t done, legislation that is difficult to pass in the first place won’t unite the country and as a result, healthcare legislation may not work very well.

Matt Salo as Executive Director for the National Association of Medicaid Directors said, “Medicaid has to be high functioning since it is such a large program, involving the states and a large portion of the population. A solution has to be found to maintain funding for Medicaid since the poorest, sickest, and some of the oldest people in our population are dependent on the program.”

He added, “Everyone whether they realize it or not are impacted by Medicaid in one way or another. The greatest need is to have a Medicaid program that is highly effective, highly functional, and sustainable for the future.”

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