What’s Next for Healthcare Reform?

By Earl Whipple

This week President Barack Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordability Act, with its final changes, into law.

AstraZeneca has been actively led in the health care debate by our CEO David Brennan, who has served as Chairman of The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) this past year.

Early
on in the debate we publicly shared our health care reform principles
and since then we’ve worked with other innovation-based biopharma
companies to demonstrate our commitment to health care reform.

The existing barriers to quality health care coverage and access to medicines are not acceptable. No doubt, considerable challenges remain within health care reform but the new law is an important step forward for patients and scientific and medical innovation. By engaging with the White House and members of Congress, we were able to help expand patient health care coverage, access to life-saving medicines, ensure that patient safety is maintained or enhanced, while continuing to foster and reward innovation.

As I said in a post back in early November, we believe there is universal acceptance of the need for reform, but fractious debate on how to achieve it. Meaningful reform requires a move from ideology and politics to ideas and cooperative solutions.  I remember some of the core elements in the 2010 legislation first appearing back in 1993 when I was a Legislative Director on Capitol Hill.  They were contained in legislation drafted an an alternative to the Clintoncare health reform proposal.  Former Senator Dave Durenberger, in a Kaiser Health News interview discussed similarities between the 2010 legislation and the Republican proposals in 1993.

All the key stakeholders in the US health care system must work together to arrive at a public/private solution “to get the right kind of healthcare reform the American people deserve – and need,” as David Brennan said.

 

We look forward to future health care approaches that enhance health outcomes, prevent chronic disease, reduce health disparities and protects and rewards innovation.  Please share your views with us on health care reform, and how we got here.