PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Dom Giordano spoke with Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, one of the architects of the Affordable Care Act, about his new book Reinventing American Health Care: How the Affordable Care Act will Improve our Terribly Complex, Blatantly Unjust, Outrageously Expensive, Grossly Inefficient, Error Prone System earlier Wednesday on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT.
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“The American healthcare system consumed $2.9 trillion. It’s bigger than the entire economy of France. It’s actually the fifth largest economy in the world. You’re not going to change that overnight. The idea that it won’t take a decade to reform it is a little foolhardy. Constantly looking at the pot boiling and saying, ‘Is it working, is it not working?’ seems to me not very productive,” Emanuel said.
He also said that despite the rocky rollout of healthcare.gov in October, the Affordable Care Act is functioning effectively.
“The initial two months of the federal exchanges — not every exchange, because California worked well, Connecticut worked well, Kentucky worked well — [but] the federal exchanges, was terrible and it was a problem. But that doesn’t mean everything in the Affordable Care Act is a problem, and that’s grossly overstating the case,” he explained.
Emanuel responded to the Obama Administration’s decision to delay of many aspects of the implementation with disapproval.
“I don’t like it. I think eventually, we’re going to have to get everyone into coverage that’s real coverage. These are suboptimal plans and the suboptimal plans are very unfair to the people who get them…you don’t want these very subpar insurance programs running around out there. You need to get people real insurance.”
He explained that inefficiencies need to be reformed, and said that one way to do that is to be proactive rather than reactionary.
“The ‘fee for services’ system incentivizes doctors, hospitals and others to take care of patients when they get sick rather than preventing them from getting sick and to try to keep them healthy,” he said.
Emanuel will be at the National Constitution Center Thursday night, March 6th, to discuss the Affordable Care Act and other healthcare related issues at 6:30 p.m.