What he should say
Healthcare leaders offer suggestions for State of the Union

Editor's note: below is Joseph Antos' response to Modern Healthcare's question: "What should  the president say about health care in the State of the Union address?" Other health industry leaders' responses can be found here.

President Obama should level with the American people about the real problems we face in health care and how we can work together to solve them. It is time to move to a health system that is responsive to consumers and that lives within its means. 

Instead of advancing another round of fee cuts that will never be implemented, change the incentives that drive Medicare spending and give seniors a choice of plans that compete on an even basis. Let states do a better job of operating their Medicaid programs by giving them full flexibility rather than requiring them to seek waivers for even small changes. Give states that accept that flexibility a predictable federal subsidy based on the number of people served, not the volume of services provided. Introduce a more realistic understanding of what it takes to implement the Affordable Care Act.

At least 20 states will not create a state insurance exchange, and most of the others face great difficulties in making it work. They need more time, and so does the federal government. A delay, allowing states to move at their own pace, is the only responsible action—but one that will be especially difficult for this president.
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About the Author

 

Joseph
Antos
  • Joseph Antos is the Wilson H. Taylor Scholar in Health Care and Retirement Policy at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where his research focuses on the economics of health policy — including the Affordable Care Act, Medicare, the uninsured, and the overall reform of the health care system and its financing. He also studies the impact of health care expenditures on federal budget policy.

    Before joining AEI, Antos was assistant director for health and human resources at the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). He has also held senior positions in the US Department of Health and Human Services, the Office of Management and Budget, and the President’s Council of Economic Advisers. He recently completed a seven-year term as health adviser to CBO, and two terms as a commissioner of the Maryland Health Services Cost Review Commission. In 2013, he was also named adjunct associate professor of emergency medicine at George Washington University.

    Antos has a Ph.D. and an M.A. in economics from the University of Rochester and a B.A. in mathematics from Cornell University.



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  • Phone: 202-862-5938
    Email: jantos@aei.org
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    Email: Neil.McCray@aei.org

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