Panel Debates Affordable Care Act In Philadelphia

By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A debate on the Affordable Care Act, Wednesday in Philadelphia, was remarkably congenial, considering it featured both the law’s chief architect and the Republican former Senate majority leader. KYW’s Pat Loeb reports the speakers agreed more than they disagreed.

The World Affairs Council sponsored the debate between former Senator Bill Frist, former Obama administration adviser Zeke Emanuel, Jefferson University president Steve Klasko and Blue Cross chief Dan Hilferty. Though each was coming from a very different perspective, Klasko says they got to the same place.

“We agreed on about 60 percent of the stuff. We agree that things have to change, we agree we have to decrease costs and increase access,” Klasko said.

Klasko says the disagreement was about how big a role government should play in those goals but even Senator Frist says neither the public nor the private sector alone has the answer.

“You put those together, however, then you could come up with some real solutions that improve the quality of life of an individual and make their life more fulfilling,” Frist said.

Frist disapproved of parts of the Act, and all criticized the botched roll-out, but they also agreed the law is here to stay and the emphasis should be on making it work better for patients.

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