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Andy Slavitt, Others Create “United States of Care” Health Reform Group

February 7, 2018
by Rajiv Leventhal
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Former CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) Administrator Andy Slavitt has announced that that he will be part of a new healthcare coalition that carries the goal of “putting healthcare over politics.”

The organization, called United States of Care, features a stacked board of directors and founder’s council with top names from inside and outside of healthcare. The group, at its core, stands for three underlying principles: every American should have an affordable regular source of care for themselves and their families; all Americans should be protected from financial devastation because of illness or injury; policies to achieve these aims must be fiscally responsible and win the political support needed to ensure long-term stability.

Some key healthcare leaders who are on board with Slavitt include: Mark McClellan, M.D., former CMS Administrator and FDA commissioner; Mike Leavitt, former HHS (Health & Human Services) Secretary and Utah governor; Atul Gawande, M.D., a Brigham and Women's Hospital surgeon, writer, and public health researcher; Todd Park, former U.S. chief technology officer; and various hospital CEOs. Mark Cuban, investor, entrepreneur and owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, has also joined the group from outside of the healthcare realm.

In 2018, officials say that the organization will get off the ground by “listening to personal stories and local experts, and harnessing public opinion to shape policies that reflect the hopes and concerns of the majority of Americans.” It will also look to “provide resources and actionable approaches to state and federal policymakers that draws on a wide range of expertise, facilitating stakeholder engagement, and connecting the dots between the interests of citizens and their elected representatives.” And, the group will aim to “identify and develop new solutions that make progress toward the principles of expanding access to affordable care.”

Penn LDI (Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics) is one organization that has already agreed to partner with United States of Care. As a research partner to the organization, Penn LDI will aim to produce, distill, and disseminate research evidence on what is known, and still unknown, about policy proposals to expand health coverage to all. This collaboration is a key part of Penn LDI’s work on insurance reform, with a focus on improving access to and affordability of health care, especially for low-income populations, officials said in a press release.

Slavitt, who ran CMS from March 2015 until January 2017 as an Obama administration appointee, has more than two decades of private and public sector leadership in healthcare and technology. Towards the end of his time in government, Slavitt became impassioned with redesigning federal regulations so that doctors would be less burdened. Last year at a healthcare conference, he famously said, “We have to get the hearts and minds of physicians back. I think we’ve lost them.”

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