Building a Consumer-Oriented Healthcare System
In 1965, Medicare was created so seniors would have access to quality healthcare.
Over the past four decades Americans have repeatedly reaffirmed that commitment.
Medicare is an extraordinary American success story, extending healthy lives for millions of seniors and eliminating the fear of financial bankruptcy for uninsured seniors and their families.
One of the most tangible, yet unextolled virtues of Medicare is its impact on the market by promoting investments in scientific research to create innovative therapies and medical devices that have served Medicare beneficiaries as well as all Americans.
These achievements have contributed to an increase in the number of healthy, well-functioning seniors and a concomitant increased demand for health services. Some propose that we curb this consumer demand through policies that limit access to therapies for Medicare beneficiaries. The senior market, however, should be viewed as the vanguard of a 21st century healthcare system that has the capacity to sustain health and increase longevity for all Americans, while inspiring greater efficiency when it comes to managing financial resources.
We cannot risk degrading a successful program that provides so much future promise, because some would like to retreat into a stagnant world of cheaper, older medical technologies. This is a world where the demands of the American people are disregarded in order to achieve an artifical budget imperative.
One such risk is embodied in the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) established by Congress to reduce Medicare expenditures. IPAB is a price control mechanism that will discourage market investments in technologies that can meet consumer demand while supporting long-term financial objectives.
We ask Congress – we implore President Obama – to abandon IPAB and lead us toward the creation of a Consumer-Oriented Healthcare System (CoHS).
Toward this end, we offer our 5 Point Roadmap to a 21st century healthcare system. Let’s start moving forward today!