Managing Editor’s Memo

We’ve Got Questions, You Get Answers


Frank Diamond

Ezekiel J. Emanuel, MD, and Andy Slavitt will not let the ACA go gentle into that good night, and their arguments make for engaging reading in this print-free, all-Q&A edition of Managed Care (as usual, we’ve edited the transcripts for clarity and length). Print-free doesn’t mean no footprint, and Emanuel and Slavitt’s insights will be available in our digital edition and on our website. Please share. And you’ll want to: Emanuel is one of the intellectual architects of Obamacare, and Slavitt, a former head of CMS, helped to implement it.

Their insights are timely, as Republicans continue to work on undoing the law and replacing it with a less regulated market that they argue will give Americans more choices. Meanwhile, the Democratic candidates are arguing about Medicare for all and don’t much mention the ACA (except for Joe Biden).

Perhaps they should. As Emanuel and Slavitt point out, about 22 million people acquired health coverage under the ACA, and that’s nothing to sneeze at.

Emanuel and Slavitt head a roster of other Q&As that also need to be shared. There’s the one with Marty Makary, MD, who’s written The Price We Pay: What Broke American Health Care—And How To Fix It, that’s a nice counterbalance to Emanuel and Slavitt. The remedy is not in our politics, says Makary, a Johns Hopkins surgeon, but in health care’s disruptors. William Johnson, MD, the president of Moda Health, talks about Moda’s success in rural Eastern Oregon with that state’s version of a Medicaid ACO. Daniel Knecht, MD, of Aetna lays out how he hopes a pilot program will improve end-of-life care. Mei Wa Kwong of the Center for Connected Health Policy discusses just what needs to be done to make telehealth fulfill its potential. And Craig Samitt, MD, of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota and J. Kevin Croston, MD, of North Memorial Health, are interviewed together about their payer–provider joint venture.

It’s all here for the asking.

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