Future of Health

Convergence Future of Health

THE CHALLENGE
Health care is one of the most divisive political issues today. In recent polls, Americans consistently chose health care as one of their top concerns. Congressional efforts to improve our health care system have stalled, sparking urgent questions about what’s next in order to address important U.S. health reform needs. There is broad belief among Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and progressives, that the health care system in the U.S. needs to be strengthened and that bipartisan approaches are possible.

PROJECT OVERVIEW
In early 2017, in the midst of Congressional efforts to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act, a small group of health policy analysts and advocates asked Convergence to convene their work to revive serious bipartisan conversation on healthcare reform. These experts hold diverse political views and policy outlooks and have been major participants in developing health policy at national and state levels over their careers.

During a series of meetings over the summer, they reached agreement on two key points for balanced, incremental health reforms, which addressed ways to structure subsidies for private insurance, and offered states flexibility through waivers to streamline Medicaid and other public insurance programs. Their recommendations received extensive media coverage and interest on Capitol Hill. The news stories, which ran in over 100 outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, Vox, Kaiser Health News, The Washington Post, Associated Press, and New York Times, influenced thought leaders’ and politicians’ ideas of what was possible.

MOVING FORWARD
Building on these efforts, we are now actively exploring whether support exists to engage in a broader mission to envision a future, much-improved American healthcare system. Given sufficient funding, we want to convene a small group of key thought leaders and decision makers across traditional stakeholder communities, including trade associations, employers, advocacy groups, and non-traditional stakeholders, including potential disrupters of the health care status quo.

We believe that if some of the major players share a vision of what future health reform should do, they will make a real difference to the legislative politics of health.

Convergence is now seeking funding to support this important, national-level effort.