James Capretta has spent more than two decades studying American health care policy. As an associate director at the White House's Office of Management and Budget from 2001 to 2004, he was responsible for all health care, Social Security and welfare issues. Earlier, he served as a senior health policy analyst at the U.S. Senate Budget Committee and at the U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means. Capretta is also concurrently a Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. At AEI, he will be researching how to replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (best known as Obamacare) with a less expensive reform plan to provide effective and secure health insurance for working-age Americans and their families.
Senior Fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center, 2013 -present
Fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center, 2006 -2012
Editorial Board, Health Affairs, 2012- present
Advisory Board, National Institute for Health Care Management, 2011-present
Associate Director for Human Resource Programs, Office of Management and Budget, 2001-2004
Senior Analyst, U.S. Senate Budget Committee and U.S. House Ways and Means Committee, 1990 -2000
Enactment of the ACA has not ended the US debate over health care reform, or the debate over how to improve health care for the poor. There were many problems with providing the poor with access to care before the ACA, and the new law will not make those problems disappear. But an alternative plan will not be easy to enact, either.
"Reform conservatism" is becoming, somewhat by default, the label of choice for journalists who want a short-hand term for the group of think tank researchers and former government officials pushing Republican policymakers to embrace a positive, energetic, and conservative domestic policy agenda.
Obamacare’s unpopularity has created a historic political opportunity for the law’s opponents. The public is thirsting for credible alternatives. But that does not mean that advancing a replacement plan is entirely without political risk.
The first year’s enrollment in Obamacarecan be best understood as an exercise in doing whatever was necessary to get people on the program, no matter the consequences. And one very likely consequence is that taxpayers will end with a hefty bill for many improperly paid subsidies.
We have an opportunity to move our health-care system to the right no only of Obamacare but also of the pre-Obamacare status quo. Middle-class voters are ready to hear from conservatives about their practical and realistic proposals to improve their lives.