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Healthcare lobbyists preview elections, legislative priorities

Healthcare lobbyists preview elections, legislative priorities

Healthcare lobbyists previewed how November’s elections could affect their industries as well as their top legislative priorities at a Wisconsin Health News event Tuesday in Madison.

Selected and edited highlights are below:

On the future of the Affordable Care Act:

“It is not easy to repeal Obamacare as some of those that have been its staunchest opponents have learned, sometimes stingily. If Obamacare is going to be legislatively repealed, you’re going to have to have a Congress that looks different than what it looks like today.”

– Eric Borgerding, Wisconsin Hospital Association CEO

“It’s very likely we’ll continue to see some level of executive action around alternatives to comprehensive benefits and coverage. But I think that means there needs to be a fair amount of caution.”

– Nancy Wenzel, Wisconsin Association of Health Plans CEO

On association health plans:

“Association health plans, if they offer comprehensive benefits and they’re constructed right, can give people adequate coverage at reduced price.”

– Dr. Bud Chumbley, Wisconsin Medical Society CEO

“Association health plans aren’t new and neither are short-term policies. They haven’t worked as a solution for the broader marketplace. So I don’t know what makes them different today than they were previously.”

– Wenzel, Wisconsin Association of Health Plans CEO

On healthcare workforce:

“We found that one out of every five caregiver positions are vacant in this state based on a survey of about 800 providers…It’s tough work, it’s meaningful, it’s valued work, but at the wage structure that most providers are able to offer, it’s hard to compete with other entities that don’t require the certification or the licensure that you do to work in long-term care.”

– John Sauer, LeadingAge Wisconsin CEO

“We asked our hospital and health system CEO members what are the issues that threaten your ability to provide high quality care. The top issues, in this order, they were workforce, insurance market stability and government reimbursement, workforce being at the top of the list. We’ve always approached this as yes, it’s trying to get more people into the workforce, more people into those pipelines, ‘numbers game.’ But it’s also, in addition to that, trying to use public policy and the regulatory process to make sure that we are able to leverage the healthcare providers and practitioners and caregivers that we have right now in the system.”

– Borgerding, Wisconsin Hospital Association CEO

“We’re interested also in trying to figure out where is the new workforce going to be going forward and are there new types of providers, ‘providers’ loosely worded, that we need to be able to really address the workforce crisis that we’re having and is only going to get worse.”

– Stephanie Harrison, Wisconsin Primary Health Care Association CEO

“We’re headed to a shortage of physicians, which should be of concern to everyone…so we want to build their resiliency.”

– Chumbley, Wisconsin Medical Society CEO

See video of the event from WisconsinEye.

This article first appeared in the Wisconsin Health News daily email newsletter. Sign up for your free trial here.

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