Anthony Tersigni

In a new guest commentary for healthcare publication Modern Healthcare, Ascension President and Chief Executive Officer Anthony R. Tersigni, EdD, FACHE, calls for a bipartisan approach to improve the U.S. healthcare system.

“The partisan road to healthcare reform appears to have reached an inconclusive end, at least for now,” Tony says. “But in its wake is an opportunity for Republicans and Democrats to come together and improve our healthcare system in a bipartisan way. …

“Both parties now need to reach across the aisle and develop a bipartisan piece of legislation to fix the very real problems that plague our health system and those who rely on it for their care.”

Tony cites past bipartisan efforts on major legislation – including the creation of Medicare and Medicaid in the 1960s, and Social Security reform in the 1980s – as examples of legislators putting aside political differences and working together.

“Some elements our country needs to seriously consider include expanding waiver authority for states to be more aggressive in creating efficiencies in Medicaid and in their individual insurance markets; allowing for more robust and creative uses for health savings accounts; and agreeing to alternatives to the individual and employer mandates,” Tony says. “We also cannot harm the very people who need care the most by significantly cutting Medicaid. This effort will likely need to recognize that the federal government has an important role in the individual market to be the reinsurer of last resort for a small number of very high-cost patients so insurers will have the confidence needed to remain in the individual insurance market.”

Tony calls for leadership and courage to address the difficult issues facing the nation related to the delivery of healthcare.

“Now is the time for leadership by brave members of Congress and the administration who are willing to start the journey and walk together along the road less traveled to solve very real problems on behalf of the American people,” he says.

Click here for Tony’s full column on Modern Healthcare; a subscription is required for access.