Adam Russo is worried that the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress will do too little to change the U.S. health finance system in the next two years, not too much.
Russo, a Boston-based lawyer, is the owner of the Braintree, Massachusetts-based Phia Group, a company that helps insurers, group health plans and other clients challenge inflated medical bills. He’s also a director of the Simpsonville, South Carolina-based Self-Insurance Institute of America, a group for providers and users of employer self-insurance arrangements.
Russo laughs at the idea that Republicans will be able to make the Affordable Care Act, and the tens of thousands of pages of regulations and guidance surrounding the ACA, go away quickly.
“It’s laughable,” Russo said Wednesday in an interview. “It’s not possible. It’s insane.”
Meanwhile, he said, Republicans, and others, are correct when they say they ACA does almost nothing to control the actual cost of health care.
Republicans have talked about expanding health savings accounts and empowering patients and physicians to take over the management of care. That’s a start, Russo said, but he argued that policymakers have to take that idea a step further, and give consumers the tools they need to fight over-billing as well as financial incentives to notice over-billing.
Health cost drivers
Dr. Elaina George, an ear, nose and throat surgeon in Atlanta, told a LifeHealthPro.com in an interview Tuesday that she believes big health insurers, drug makers, hospital companies and federal agencies have worked together to set up “care management” and “cost control” efforts that impose more red tape on doctors and patients, and work mainly to benefit the big insurers, drug makers and hospital companies.
Russo, who is not affiliated with George, said he agrees with her assessment of the situation.