Would you be surprised to learn that Rahm Emanuel’s brother Ezekiel – one of the key architects of Obamacare – is again boasting that current government-influenced market forces will soon kill (literally) the health care industry as we know it?
Ezekiel Emanuel, author of the recently-released Reinventing American Health Care: How the Affordable Care Act will Improve our Terribly Complex, Blatantly Unjust, Outrageously Expensive, Grossly Inefficient, Error Prone System, drove home one of the central messages of his lavishly-titled book on Monday, telling Reuters that, “[b]y 2025, insurance companies as we know them: dead.”
Emanuel, formerly a special health advisor to the Obama Administration, upholds the U.S. Veterans Health Administration as a model of cost control and treatment efficiency in the book – which released mere weeks before news of the Obama Administration’s VA scandal broke. Shortly after the book’s publication, he argued in this fashion that his position does not equate to an advocacy of a single-payer system:
No! There are some Americans that want single-payer. All I can say is the majority don’t. Americans aren’t into the single-payer game. It ain’t happening. We barely got the Affordable Care Act through. We certainly would not have gotten a single-payer proposal through.
On Monday, Emanuel didn’t mention single payer in discussing the future of American health care with a Reuters interviewer, but he did elaborate on how Obamacare will, in his opinion, affect the health care market over the next 10 years.
“By 2020, we’re gonna have a very different system that’s much better for patients; that controls costs, and I think the quality’s gonna be better, and I think the Affordable Care Act was a major catalyst for that,” he said.
“…I similarly predict the, sort of, end of health care inflation. We’ve had 50 years of health care growing faster and faster, taking more of the economy, and I think with the Affordable Care Act; with the concentration on keeping people healthy, actually you’re gonna see it grow not faster than the underlying economy… So I think; I mean, the book predicts that, by 2025, insurance companies as we know them, taking in premiums and paying out: dead. And we will have these large integrated delivery systems, like Kaiser, that people will choose from…”
That isn’t exactly single payer, but it is consolidation – a potential next step along the path toward health insurance under one funding (and regulatory) umbrella.