The Top Dog of one of the world’s largest private insurers, Aetna, has sent a message to Congress: it’s time to move on and away from the idea of repealing the Affordable Care Act.
Aetna CEO, Mark Bertolini, appeared on CNBC’s Closing Bell to make a powerful statement about the current state of the insurance market, and what must happen in order to make sure more insurers like Aetna reenter the ACA markets.
“The ACA cannot be repealed, period, end of sentence,” Bertolini began.
What we should do is fix it. So either everyone gets their heads together over in the Senate and the House and does the job that the American people needs them to do, and fix what we already have, or they should move on to something else,” he said. “It’s really easy to fix this if they would just get over the politics of who is going to win the ’18 election.”
Bertolini goes on to explain that the lack of stability is the most overwhelming problem for insurers:
“Any business that has the kind of changes this program has seen quarter over quarter, sometimes monthly, would not be able to sustain their business practices for any period of time. So when they get it right — which, it can be fixed, it very much can be fixed — and it’s stable, we’ll reconsider participation.”
Bertolini also directly challenged Donald Trump’s understanding/rhetoric surrounding the federal government’s role in subsidizing portions of those insured by the ACA:
If a new HealthCare Bill is not approved quickly, BAILOUTS for Insurance Companies and BAILOUTS for Members of Congress will end very soon!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 29, 2017
“They aren’t bailouts,” Bertolini said. “We don’t keep that money. It goes directly to providers and directly to pay for premiums for members, so I think it’s misinformed.”
“Our premiums are the same regardless, and it’s the costs that need to be paid to hospitals and doctors that otherwise wouldn’t be paid,” he said. “[The] only people who get hurt are the members and the citizens of the United States who won’t get health care as a result, so these aren’t bailouts for the insurance company.”
You can watch Bertolini’s statement here: