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AHIP’s Letter To The New York Times: If Obamacare Is Ailing, Let’s Fix It

posted by AHIP

on May 26, 2016

AHIP President and CEO Marilyn Tavenner weighed in with the New York Times on the challenges with health care access and affordability and what health plans are doing to overcome them. Read full letter to the editor below.

To the Editor:

Sorry, We Don’t Take Obamacare” (Sunday Review, May 15) presents a misleading picture of the cost and access challenges in the evolving exchange marketplaces.

What’s really driving up health care costs, and, consequently, health insurance premiums? Let’s start with drug companies charging record-breaking prices and hospitals leveraging dominant market positions for higher rates.

Health plans design products that address the cost and access challenges by aligning quality and affordability together. Offering a range of coverage options allows individuals and employers to choose the plan that best fits their needs. It’s only when all stakeholders — hospitals, health plans and drug companies — embrace the goals of affordability, quality and access that consumers will see true value in their care.

While some suggest a “public option” as a cure-all, shifting more responsibility from the private sector to the government does nothing to address the root of the problem. We would be better served to focus on promoting greater choice, transparency and value in our health care system for the benefit of all consumers.

MARILYN TAVENNER

Washington

The writer is president and chief executive of America’s Health Insurance Plans, the trade association for the health insurance industry, and former administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.