As the debate around America’s health care future continues, voices throughout the nation are encouraging our leaders to improve and build on what is working and fix what isn’t – while opposing a one-size-fits-all government-run system that will force Americans to pay more to wait longer for worse care.

Jeff Wasden, Colorado Business Roundtable President, Colorado:

… Buy-in and public option proposals are nothing more than a slippery slope to the government-run health care systems … These proposals will only lead to less choice and fewer options, massive disruptions in the care Coloradans have come to expect and longer wait times for the care they do receive. 

… In Vermont, the home state of Senator Bernie Sanders, who is running all in on Medicare for All, the state tried and failed to implement this government insurance system.  But the tax increase was too much.  We’re seeing a similar pattern in other states like Connecticut, where similar buy-in proposals have failed tremendously. 

… We are hopeful political leaders will pause, listen to leaders who have real-world business experience and reconsider such radical ideas such as abolishing employer-sponsored health coverage and falling back on “moderate” proposals like public option or Medicare buy-in systems. Working together, stakeholders on all sides of the health care conversation can find meaningful answers that will offer progress and hope in a debate that is now dominated by rhetoric and division. 

Jen Gross, Democratic State Senator, Montana:

Having worked on health care reform in Montana for the past nine years, I am a firm believer that our best option is to continue improving on the hard-fought progress we’ve made with the Affordable Care Act.  I believe what we need are improvements to the ACA, particularly when it comes to managing costs and streamlining access. 

… What is realistic is for us to continue to work to protect the ACA and improve it, and to fight any efforts to weaken or damage it.  The Affordable Care Act is the best vehicle we have to improve access to quality, affordable health care … The ACA may not be all that some of us wanted when this process started, but it has proven to be an incredible start.  Rather than abandoning our past accomplishments in favor of a “one-size-fits-all” approach, we need to work together to strengthen and enhance the ACA.

Keith Langseth, Former Democratic State Senator, Minnesota:

… Congressional Democrats have proposed a plan that would strengthen the Affordable Care Act by expanding federal subsidies and opposing the Trump administration’s efforts to undermine the law.  These proposals attempt to avoid debates within the party on far out proposals like Medicare for all, instead focusing on improving health care for all Americans.

Americans want Congress to improve the Affordable Care Act, not go with something very different.  Democrats can show the American people they will lead by offering a plan to improve the law and protect health care policy.

Chito Flores, Doctor, Florida:

What upsets a lot of physicians like me is that policies like “Medicare for All” are concocted that will adversely affect physicians and patients alike.  We are the providers of healthcare, but these policies are envisioned with minimal input from the physicians … We will lose incentive; innovation and technological advances will be less; waiting times will be longer for patients, and specialized medicines and procedures will be rationed.  Bernie Sanders says, “Canada can do it, why can’t we?”  Canada in 2017 had a population of 36 million, but the USA had a population of more than 320 million … That is why this concept is tremendously unaffordable, and we will have to raise taxes for everybody … the rich and middle class included.

But think also about the disincentives to students considering the medical profession.  Fewer students will be interested in medicine.  There will be less availability of doctors for such a large population and thus longer wait times for primary-care physicians and specialty care will be inexorably longer!  The overall quality of healthcare will suffer. 

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