HEADLINE: Republican and Democratic Leaders Agree on Healthcare Reform (well at least parts) | GHX

Karen Conway

Executive Director, Industry Relations
Tuesday, April 19, 2011

HEADLINE: Republican and Democratic Leaders Agree on Healthcare Reform (well at least parts)

According to research published recently by the IDN Summit, the majority (80%) of healthcare executives do not believe healthcare reform should be repealed. These executives are busy working to meet the objectives and requirements of the bill, but they are doing so in an environment of uncertainly, with both legislative and legal attempts to repeal or overturn the bill. The question then arises, how are these leaders expected to transform their organizations and the way they do business if the rules of the game may change. That was one of the questions we asked former Senate Majority Leaders Bill Frist and Tom Daschle during the opening keynote session of the GHX Supply Chain Summit today. In his remarks, Senator Frist predicted that the US Supreme Court will find the individual mandate in the bill unconstitutional, a point that Senator Daschle contested, but surprisingly that was one of the relatively few points where the two disagreed. Both urged the healthcare providers and suppliers in the audience to continue working together to find ways to drive down the cost of healthcare. As Senator Daschle said it, "the [political] disagreement is over the role of government. But we are in agreement on many things, like cost. If nothing changes healthcare will be 32 percent of the gross domestic product and that is unsustainable. There is no disagreement that there is a cost problem, an access problem and a quality problem."

The Senators responded to a series of questions, ranging from why there was nothing on tort reform in the final bill to the challenges faced by state governments, which are strapped for cash but have the bulk of responsibility for implementing the legislation. You can view this morning’s session and hear their answers at http://www.ghx.com/supplychainsummit/live-from-the-summit.aspx.

The Summit continues tomorrow with presentations by the Cleveland Clinic, the top three organizations in the Gartner Healthcare Supply Chain Top 25 and Aron Ralston, whose remarkable story of courage and survival became the inspiration for the movie “127 Hours.”