Anthony Tersigni

Major legislation such as healthcare reform needs bipartisan support, Ascension President and Chief Executive Officer Anthony R. Tersigni, EdD, FACHE, says in a new opinion column for The Hill.

“The truth is that we still need a major reboot on healthcare. Both parties understand that the Affordable Care Act has weaknesses that restrict choice and inflate prices in the individual market,” Tony says. “These challenges need to be addressed sooner rather than later or real people will be hurt. Rather than start with one party crafting a solution and trying to attract a few moderates from the other party, now is the time to restart the process by gathering well-intentioned people from across the entire ideological spectrum around one table.”

In support of a bipartisan approach, the Bipartisan Policy Center has brought together health policy experts to work out a consensus proposal to improve the U.S. healthcare system, Tony says. The group includes conservatives who want more consumer-driven healthcare, less regulation, more individual responsibility and greater use of health savings accounts, as well as progressives who want expanded federal programs, more resources for those who need them, and more regulation. “The group also includes thoughtful experts who fall between these ideological poles, all of whom want to spend their valuable time crafting a consensus proposal,” he says.

Tony calls for the group to focus on improving the healthcare system and commit to the following goals:

  • Improve and strengthen the individual insurance market;
  • Expand the availability of affordable insurance coverage aimed at reducing, rather than increasing, the numbers of uninsured people;
  • Strengthen the safety net for those who need it while not creating incentives for others to rely on it unnecessarily;
  • Accelerate the transformation of the health system from one that rewards volume to one that rewards value; and
  • Address the non-healthcare impediments to achieving improved health by breaking down silos between healthcare and non-healthcare spending and rewarding increased personal responsibility for activities that maintain and improve health.

“Coming together and working across the aisle is key to enacting legislation to bring about fundamental change,” Tony says.

Click here to read Tony’s column.