We are pleased to share with you an op-ed that ran this week in the Sacramento Bee, written by our Board of Councilors member Leonard Schaeffer - founding chairman and former CEO of WellPoint, (a.k.a. Anthem) and Dana Goldman - director of the Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics, a joint Center of the USC Price School of Public Policy and the USC School of Pharmacy.
Alumni and students got first hand experience of what it’s like to be at the forefront of healthcare policy by travelling to Washington, DC. While meeting with congressional leaders and capitol hill staff, White House administrators, bureaucrats, and stakeholders that are all involved in the complex policy environment, EMHA students and graduates received valuable insight into the roles each group plays within the iron triangle. The iron triangle describes the interactions between a congress that sets policy, special interest groups that advocate for specific policies, and the bureaucrats that implement policy. The importance of timing and knowing the political climate for change were key takeaways from this unique experience.
The joint initiative will examine the nation’s most pressing health care issues such as the cost of Medicare and the shaping of the Affordable Care Act
Leonard D. Schaeffer, a trustee of both Brookings and the University of Southern California, has provided a gift of $4 million to establish the Leonard D. Schaeffer Initiative for Innovation in Health Policy, a partnership between the Center for Health Policy at Brookings and the Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy & Economics at USC.
USC Professor Paul Ginsburg will direct the joint work of the new Schaeffer Initiative which aims to tackle some of the nation’s most pressing health care problems, including the future of Medicare as costs continue to rise, shaping the Affordable Care Act to improve outcomes, and maximizing the value of innovation in drugs and devices.
Transformative leaders in today’s healthcare environment need to be disruptive innovators, willing to adapt to the unknown territory ahead. From the C-Suites to the frontlines, the skills required to succeed in the post-ACA world involve the ability to take calculated risks, innovate, collaborate, and engage in authentic leadership. Whether you see yourself as a Vanguard Leader, a Frontline Leader, or a Transformative Leader, building your capacity for leadership, honing your business skills within the healthcare environment, and enhancing your communication and relationship building competencies will prepare you for an rewarding career in health administration.
The world is flat. There are well-defined edges. Your experience and knowledge gives you a competitive advantage. You know how to sail the seas. One day you wake up to find that the earth is round! Your bounded seas are now vast oceans. Do you cling to what you know? Or do you set out on new adventures? After all, if there’s no edge then you’ve got a lot of exploring to do!
When insurance companies began pricing their Affordable Care Act policies in 2013, younger Americans were left holding the short end of the stick. True, young adults ages 18-to-25 were the first demographic to benefit from the 2011 phase-in of the health care law, which allowed adult children to remain on a parent’s policy. Some 2 to 3 million young adults joined the ranks of the insured under that provision. But policies for older Millennials and those without an insured parent were often priced comparably or higher than before Obamacare, even after factoring in federal subsidies. As Forbes columnist Scott Gottlieb put it, “Obamacare is asking young adults to effectively subsidize the healthcare costs of older Americans.” Looking at premium prices alone, young Americans seemed to have gained relatively little from the new insurance exchanges.
To gain broader perspective on the generational equity of Obamacare, it is helpful to place Marketplace subsidies in the context of the nation’s entire social safety net. In a previous post, I detailed how ACA subsidies compare to other entitlement programs in terms of average monthly benefit and total cost to taxpayers. To recap, the average Marketplace subsidy of $268 per month is a modest benefit relative to other programs, such as unemployment insurance, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, which spend $800 to $1,500 per beneficiary per month, on average. Moreover, with a total annual cost of $30 billion, Obamacare subsidies are adding less than 2% to the total cost of America’s social welfare system.
Generational issues come into focus by ranking the various social programs according to age of beneficiary, as in the first two graphics below.