There’s nothing I love more than unlikely friends. Give me a video of a lioness who adopted an antelope calf, and my heart just melts.
But for some reason, I don’t get the same fuzzy feeling about the Partnership for America’s Healthcare Future (P4AHCF): A coalition of insurance companies, big Pharma, and for-profit hospital corporations specifically formed to undermine popular support for Medicare for All.
You see, normally, these three groups love to point the fingers and blame the other for rising prices, inability for patients to access care, and poor health outcomes.
But while the lion adopting the antelope is one of nature’s great mysteries, P4AHCF has a much simpler explanation: they all like making money.
Behind the scenes they’re all profiting from the developed world’s most dysfunctional healthcare system.
Fixing it is their worst nightmare.
Hospitals are scared that they won’t be able to over-charge and have completely non-transparent pricing.
Pharma is terrified that they won’t be able to continue charging American’s twice as much as the rest of the world for prescription drugs.
And the insurance industry is the most worried of all, fearing that people will finally wake up and realize that they’re a burdensome, expensive middleman who, as BIHP’s esteemed Chairman Richard Master recently said, need to go “the way of the horse and buggy”.
That’s why they’ve hired people like Lauren Crawford Shaver, their new Executive Director, who also happens to be a partner at a large DC lobbying firm, and has a long history of working for the DCCC, presidential campaigns, and the Obama administration.
They’re setting themselves up to be the devil on Democrat’s shoulders, whispering in their ear that we don’t need to reform US healthcare, we should just listen to what the industry wants.
They’ll push back against even the smallest half-measures and tell everyone that all we need to do is “build on what’s working” and make small tweaks to the Affordable Care Act.
Nothing is working. We have the most expensive healthcare system in the world, and we have worse health outcomes. Tweaking the ACA is like using bubble gum to fix cracks in a dam. Eventually, the water’s coming through, and we’re all going to drown.
The healthcare system is broken, and needs dramatic bold reforms, but P4AHCF won’t tell you that, because they have no interest in improving American healthcare. They were formed to preserve a system that makes a few people very rich, while American, workers, businesses, families, and patients are left picking up the tab.
Let’s ignore their advice. It’s time for Medicare for All.
Dylan Dusseault is the Executive Director of Business Initiative for Health Policy