The startup CEO says this is a “bad time” for sole-payer healthcare

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) joined more than 100 members of the House this month in a renewed push for payer healthcare and said the pandemic has strengthened the case for reform by creating disparate outcomes for patients across race and class differences. the This was reported by the Washington Post..

“It’s more affordable to treat everyone, it’s possible to treat everyone, and people can get better quality care than they ever could in our current privatized, for-profit system,” Ocasio-Cortez said tweeted on Tuesday.

But the CEO of a healthcare software startup, Jonathan Bush, says the pandemic has rebuked the value of single-payer healthcare, aka Medicare for All, as a government-run system risks cutting a moment of industry innovation amid hindering the rise of telemedicine.

Addressing Ocasio-Cortez directly, Bush said, “Right now is a bad time to freeze time” on healthcare.

Bush cited a common industry critique that he says dates back at least to the early 1990s, when then-First Lady Hillary Clinton pushed for health care reform aimed at covering every American.

“All the way back to Hillary Care,” says Bush, CEO of Zus health. “The answer to the single-payer people was: you need flexibility, you need the market to evolve and germinate, and you need room for product agility.”

“What you do is freeze time and have a Soviet thing that sounded great in PowerPoint or a keynote but withered away over time into something horrible, with coffee lines or black markets for gas or smears,” adds Bush’s nephew late former Republican President George HW Bush and cousin of former Republican President George W. Bush.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) campaigns for re-election in Travers Park in Queens, New York, USA.

Industry opposition to single payer health insurance remains a strong force in Washington. In recent years, a push for a single payer by some Congressional Democrats has met coordinated rejection from various segments of the healthcare industry, including hospitals, drugmakers and insurers. Politico reports in 2019.

The following year more than 50 economists signed an open letter warning that Medicare for All would result in “innovation-stifling price controls.”

Proponents of reform are reacting to fears that a single-payer system would impede innovation notice that a major funder of medical research is the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a federal agency. In 2020, NIH invested approximately $40 billion in medical research, making it the world’s largest public funder of medical research.

Debate over government’s role in medical research has come to the fore during the COVID pandemic. An ongoing patent battle between NIH and pharmaceutical company Moderna (MRNA) over the COVID-19 vaccine has focused on the competing roles of public and private institutions in the development of a crucial treatment.

Certainly, the pandemic has brought about a major shift in the industry towards telemedicine. As of February 2021, even after telemedicine appointments leveled off, the visits still accounted for a proportion of U.S. insurance claims 38 times larger than before the pandemic, a McKinsey & Company said report found.

Virtual medicine could become a $250 billion industry with “sustained consumer and clinician adoption,” the report said.

“The interesting thing about the digital health movement is that we’re now seeing a kind of disproportionate development,” Bush says. “So I hope AOC is paying attention. Maybe she can call for nationalized digital health or whatever.”

Bush warned that a depositor system would hamper an industry on the verge of major growth. He compared the newfound wealth of patient data with the rise in US natural gas to the advent of an extraction method called fracking.

“Because after a long, long stagnation, we’re seeing … real liquidity in the data,” Bush says. “I mean, we’ve been trying to liquefy medical records and health data for ages — it’s just starting to frank and leak out.”

Continue reading:

Read the latest financial and business news from Yahoo Finance

Comments are closed.