Special guests from Washington, D.C., included Don Dempsey, senior vice president at Marwood Group; Kris Haltmeyer, executive director of Legislative and Regulatory Policy at Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association; Chip Kahn, president and CEO of Federation of American Hospitals; and The Honorable Earl Pomeroy, senior counsel at Alston & Bird. The session was moderated by David Jarrard, president and CEO of Jarrard Phillips Cate & Hancock.
Panelists discussed the election results as they relate to carrying out components of the Affordable Care Act, such as setting up state insurance exchanges and the Medicaid expansion. They all expressed concern at the monumental problems that Congress is facing with the fiscal cliff and looming sequestration during the lame duck session.
“The election brings a level of certainty as the policies of the Affordable Care Act move forward, so the election was positive in that respect. At the same time, there is a degree of uncertainty with the deficit reduction legislation expected to take place in early 2013 and how that might take shape,” said Dempsey.
“This election clears away the clouds around health care reform; it will go forward,” said Kahn. “There will be less language about ‘repeal and replace’ and more about tweaking the existing law.”
“Insurers will have to approach things differently in the new market from the perspective of being competitive in pricing and transparent,” said Haltmeyer.
“The commitment that we’re going to move forward to dramatically expand health care coverage in this country, potentially to 31 million more Americans, that’s good news for the health care industry and therefore, that’s good news for Nashville,” Pomeroy said.
This panel session followed a pre-election event hosted by the Council on October 2 with guests Judy Feder, Ph.D., Senator Bill Frist, M.D., The Honorable Alberto R. Gonzales and Jon Meacham. More details about that event can be found here.
Nashville-based health care companies account for $70 billion in annual revenue and more than 400,000 jobs globally. Sixteen publicly traded health care companies are located in Nashville.
“Nashville has a dynamic health care industry, not to mention that more than 70 percent of the country’s for-profit hospital beds are operated by Nashville companies,” said Caroline Young, president of the Nashville Health Care Council. “Council members have paid very close attention to this election, and the results will heavily impact the way these and other health care companies conduct business moving forward.”
About the Nashville Health Care Council
The Nashville Health Care Council, founded in 1995 as an initiative of the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, is an association of health care industry leaders working together to further establish Nashville’s position as the nation’s health care industry capital. For more information on the Council, please visit www.healthcarecouncil.com.