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Event Summary


Conservatives are united in the fact that they are opposed to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), but they are not as unified in the means of their opposition. Some demand that the ACA be fully repealed, some want to replace it, and some aim for small incremental improvements to the law. At an AEI event on Thursday, a panel of health care experts and congressional staffers convened to discuss conservative alternatives to the ACA.

AEI’s Thomas P. Miller explained that opponents of the ACA are clinging to several hopes that will not hold out. He pointed out that spending formula changes and overly optimistic fiscal federalism are insufficient to bend cost curves or realign incentives in health care spending. He further urged conservatives to expand their toolbox of reforms to include consideration of educational and cultural factors outside of traditional health policy discussions.

US House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce staffer Paul Edattel elaborated on several conservative responses to the ACA, including small reforms intended to improve the ACA and larger bills aiming to replace it. US Senate Committee on Finance’s Jay Khosla discussed some common conservative concerns with the ACA and its implementation, such as the difficulty lawmakers will face in attempting to change a law offering subsidies to probably increasing amounts of the voting population. He concluded that any substantive health care policy reforms must include structural entitlement reform.
–Neil McCray

Event Description

In the fall issue of National Affairs, Tom Miller argues that most conservative activists and leaders still lack a convincing and sustainable package of credible health policy reforms that do more than just say “no” to Obamacare. He urges conservatives to offer real, market-oriented solutions that are respectful of individual freedom and of the limits of government but that will require some new thinking from the right.

At this event, health policy experts will offer their perspectives on the current state of Republican-backed health policy alternatives to the Affordable Care Act.


If you are unable to attend, we welcome you to watch the event live on this page. Full video will be posted within 24 hours.

Download Audio as MP3


9:00 AM

9:15 AM
Paul Edattel, US House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce
Jay Khosla, US Senate Committee on Finance
Thomas P. Miller, AEI

Ramesh Ponnuru, AEI

11:00 AM

Event Contact Information

For more information, please contact Neil McCray at [email protected], 202.862.

Media Contact Information

For media inquiries, please contact [email protected], 202.862.5829.

Speaker Biographies

Paul Edattel currently serves as professional staffer to Chairman Fred Upton of the Energy and Commerce Committee of the US House of Representatives. In this capacity, Edattel works on issues related to health insurance and the regulation of drugs under the Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act. Previously, he served as legislative director to former congressman John Shadegg (R-AZ). Before his tenure on Capitol Hill, he worked for former secretary of education William J. Bennett and for 1996 GOP vice presidential nominee Jack Kemp at Empower America. He was also formerly a regulatory consultant in private practice.

Jay Khosla is the policy director and chief health counsel at the Senate Committee on Finance. He started out on the Hill working for former Senate majority leader Bill Frist (R-TN), and later worked for the Senate Budget Committee. He left to advise Senator John McCain (R-AZ) during his 2008 presidential bid before returning to the Senate to work for Orrin Hatch (R-UT), first as the senator’s senior health counsel and legislative director.

Thomas P. Miller is a resident fellow at AEI, where he focuses on health policy, with particular emphasis on information transparency, health insurance regulation, health care entitlement reform, and market-based alternatives to the policies of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. He is the coauthor of “Why ObamaCare Is Wrong for America” (HarperCollins, 2011) and author of “When ObamaCare Fails: The Playbook for Market-Based Reform” (AEI, 2012). He also directs AEI’s Beyond Repeal and Replace project. Miller was a member of the National Advisory Council for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality from 2007 to 2009. He was a senior health policy adviser for the John McCain presidential campaign in 2008. Before joining AEI in 2006, Miller served for three years as senior health economist for the Joint Economic Committee of the US Congress. He has also been director of health policy studies at the Cato Institute and director of economic policy studies at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. He is a member of the National Academy of Social Insurance and the State Bar of Georgia. Miller’s writing has appeared in publications such as Health Affairs, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and National Review. He makes frequent broadcast media appearances on Fox, PBS, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, C-SPAN, and National Public Radio, among other networks.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, where he has covered national politics and public policy for 18 years. He is also a columnist for Bloomberg View. A prolific writer, he is the author of a monograph about Japanese industrial policy and a book about American politics and the sanctity of human life. As a visiting fellow at AEI, Ponnuru examines the future of conservatism, with particular attention to health care, economic policy, and constitutionalism.

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