A couple of CEOs with opposing takes on healthcare reform squared off today at a luncheon put on by the right-leaning National Center for Policy Analysis. Parkland Memorial Hospital’s Dr. Ron Anderson said the new law is a case of “The Good, the Bad, and the Potentially Ugly.” The good: 32 million newly covered, for example; patient choice may be enhanced. The bad: 25 million still uninsured, including many illegals; hospitals like Parkland may get less dough. The potentially ugly: Medicare cuts are coming; expansion of Medicaid will over-burden states already under financial pressure.
The NCPA’s John Goodman saw less to like in the new reform law, calling it a “really, really radical” plan under which costs will explode, providers will be severely squeezed, and incentives will be skewed in all the wrong ways. Despite their sharply differing views Goodman and Anderson are said to be friends, and the Parkland CEO concluded that more robust dialogue–like today’s confab at the Belo Mansion–could be just what the doctor ordered. “We really need a bipartisan solution” to healthcare improvement, Anderson said. “And if we came together and worked together across the aisle,” he added, we just might come up with one.