The Way Forward: Despite Supreme Court Ruling,
New Start Needed on Health Care Reform
Pioneer Institute calls for Congress to replace most of the federal health law and clear the way for state-based reforms
BOSTON – Despite the US Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research calls for a new approach to solving the nation’s health care problems.
“The fact that this decision was made in essence by a single justice highlights the need for real solutions that can gain broad consensus across the country. The Court’s decision today will set off further state and federal conflicts that will likely end up in the courts once again,” says Jim Stergios, Pioneer’s executive director. “This is a lose-lose for everyone.”
In March, Pioneer released a timely book, The Great Experiment: The States, The Feds, and Your Healthcare, edited by Pioneer’s director of health care policy Josh Archambault, that offers a non-ideological appraisal of state health care experiments, including the Massachusetts law of 2006, and outlines a policy direction for the country that will result in more affordable and innovative care. The Great Experiment was authored by Harvard Medical School Dean Jeffrey Flier, American Enterprise Institute’s Tom Miller, Medicaid and Medicare expert Jim Capretta, Tufts Medical School’s Amy Lischko, and Archambault.
“There are many unintended consequences when Washington tries to design a policy that meets the very different needs of states as diverse as Massachusetts and, say, New Mexico,” says Archambault. “We need some specific federal actions to increase access to affordable health care, but the PPACA went too far.”
In addition to Congressional action, Archambault advocates “thoughtful approaches that give patients a real role in making health care decisions. These are primarily policy changes that states will have to make, including increasing participation in patient-centered health plans, greater price and quality data transparency, and expansion in scope-of-practice laws to lower costs and improve the flexibility of our health care system.