Saturday, August 6, 2016

PPACA Creators Truly Shameless

Two founders of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), Nancy Ann Deparle and Neera Tanden, served on healthcare panel at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.  Between them sat a major PPACA influencer ex-Senator Tom Daschle, now a non-lobbying lobbyist with Alston and Bird and private equity underwriter (PEU).

Nancy Ann reminisced about how everyone came together to "bend the cost curve."  She did not address their abject failure the last few years as health care costs exploded.  The panel talked about the current concern of affordability but acted like cost drivers had nothing to do with PPACA.  One of the six major areas in the bill included:

Provisions aimed in part at changing the trend in health spending growth
Here's the government's prediction for overall healthcare spending:

"... we estimate that overall national health expenditures under the health reform act would increase by a total of $311 billion (0.9 percent) during calendar years 2010-2019."
Failure to act on drivers of hypersonic healthcare cost increases means greed remains in charge.  Incentives and competition for a bigger piece of the pie clearly have not worked.  The groups that "gave so the public could save" included health insurers, big pharma, hospitals and healthcare providers.

Hospital giant HCA's stock went from $21 a share in 2012 to $75 on Friday.  KKR and Bain Capital's ownership of HCA from 2006 to 2011 added $15 billion in healthcare costs due to higher interest expense, the imposition of annual management fees and PEU owners borrowing to pay themselves over $4 billion in dividends.

Aetna went from $36 per share in 2012 to nearly $120 a share on Friday.  Oddly, Tom Daschle's former law firm added an Aetna attorney earlier this year to bolster their health regulatory practice.

Tom Daschle joined Baker Donelson in 2014, forming a public policy consulting arm called The Daschle Group.  Public Policy groups are as hard to keep up with as private equity underwriters.

The Fiscal Times recently featured Tom Daschle in a story on Accumen, a lab consulting firm helping hospitals cut lab costs,  Accumen is an affiliate of Accretive LLC, a private equity underwriter.  The story revealed Daschle to be a public policy advisor and lobbyist for Accumen. 

Lobbyists and PEUs are part of the big money cycle that makes our country not work for the average person.  PPACA is clearly part of that greed cycle.  The DNC panel and Daschle story reveal how PPACA's creators and profiteers are truly shameless.  In many cases they are one and the same.

Update 3-15-18:   Skyhigh healthcare costs differentiate the U.S. from the rest of the globe.  PPACA's cost curve bent in the wrong direction, acceleration.