“Affordability is a key issue. Health care costs need to go down,” said Neera Tanden, president of Center for American Progress.
The word affordability pervaded the room during the Americans United for Change policy forum Beyond the Affordable Care Act: The Future of Healthcare in America at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. Nodding in agreement, panelists Nancy-Ann DeParle, Chris Jennings, Ron Pollack, Neera Tanden and Sen. Tom Daschle put up a united front in defense of the ACA, but acknowledged its central drawback—rising health costs.
“The number-one thing consumers care about is affordability,” said Ron Pollack, founding executive director of Families USA. Nancy-Ann DeParle chimed in to emphasize that even individuals on employer-based insurance are concerned about rising deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses. Although panelists did not delve into possible ways to reduce health costs, they alluded to modifying the ACA to solve the issue under the next administration.
The future of the ACA under Clinton looks promising to all the panelists. Although the act has polarized Republicans and Democrats, Pollack believes a Clinton win will make it implausible to talk about its repeal and begin a real conversation between the parties on ways to improve the law going forward.
– Aparna Mazumdar