More than 50 leaders from health care organizations and systems statewide participated in a Health Care Reform Summit hosted by the Wisconsin Medical Society on Dec. 16. The summit provided stakeholders the opportunity to learn about and discuss pending changes to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and featured several speakers including Tommy Thompson, former Wisconsin governor and Health and Human Services secretary; Wisconsin Medicaid Director Michael Heifetz; Richard Deem, senior vice president of advocacy for the American Medical Association; and Wisconsin Deputy Commissioner of Insurance J.P. Wieske.
The speakers addressed a number of topics including the likelihood of repeal and replacement of the ACA, the role Medicaid will play in health care reform and the possibility of a transition from an entitlement program to one financed by block and/or per capita grants, and an overview of the health insurance market in Wisconsin.
The Summit also featured a review of various health care reform proposals, including the following:
- A Better Way Health Plan—Speaker Paul Ryan
- Empowering Patients First Act—Rep. Tom Price, MD, Health and Human Services Secretary nominee
- Patient CARE Act—Sen. Orrin Hatch, Sen. Richard Burr and Rep. Fred Upton
- Improving Health and Health Care Plan—American Enterprise Institute
- Universal Tax Credit Plan—Avik Roy
- Healthy Indiana Plan 2.0—Indiana Family Social Services Administration (Medicaid reform only)
Following the presentations, Summit attendees identified several key areas to focus reform efforts that include ensuring those who are currently covered do not lose insurance, maintaining access to affordable and adequate coverage for low-to-moderate income populations, maintaining adequate Medicaid funding, and evaluating opportunities to reduce regulatory burdens.
A subgroup of Summit participants will continue to meet as a steering committee to help direct future advocacy efforts.For more information, e-mail Chris Rasch, Society vice president of Advocacy and Membership.