Just hours after the Senate voted 51-50 to allow debate to begin on legislation to repeal Obamacare, leading voices on health care policy gathered at Bloomberg Government to discuss next steps on reform. The event, sponsored by Delta Dental, focused on how to reduce rising health care costs as Congress considers new healthcare policies.
Keynote speaker Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) opened the conversation by emphasizing that both parties need to compromise on policy that will reduce costs while improving outcomes. Cassidy expressed hope that the Graham-Cassidy health care bill, a bill that would change federal assistance for Medicaid to a block grant program, would receive a vote if the repeal and replace efforts continue to move forward. According to Cassidy, the bill, co-sponsored by Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), would make health care funding more equitable and allow states to implement mandates on their own dime if they so choose.
On the topic of cost in particular, Cassidy discussed the need for price transparency and consumer options to move health care to a more consumer-centric system.
A panel discussion followed Sen. Cassidy’s keynote. The panel included Richard Bankowitz, Executive Vice President of Clinical Affairs for the America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), Richard Deem, Senior Vice President of Advocacy for the American Medical Association, Katherine Hayes, Director of Health Policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center, and Alice Rivlin, Senior Fellow of Health Policy at the Brookings Institution. Panelists spoke to the need to align all groups involved in the health care system – insurers, providers, consumers, and other stakeholders – to reduce costs and improve outcomes.
Delta Dental supports policy solutions that keep Americans happy and healthy. Delta Dental Plans Association CEO and President Steve Olson said in his remarks that Americans need access to quality medical and dental benefits, because oral health is a critical component of overall health.
Delta Dental will sponsor another event with Bloomberg Government on September 20, focused on states’ efforts to reform healthcare through innovation waivers.