HR Policy CEO Urges Health Secretary Pick to Strengthen Employer-Sponsored Health Care, Promote Transparency and Value-Based Payment

December 01, 2017

This week, President and CEO of HR Policy Association Dan Yager wrote an op-ed in The Hill urging Health & Human Services nominee Alex Azar to bolster the cornerstone of the U.S. health care system—employer-sponsored health insurance.  In "To Advance Health Coverage, New Health Secretary Can't Neglect Employers," Yager highlights research from the American Health Policy Institute and suggests HHS and Congress take the following steps:

  • Continue to incentivize employers to provide health benefits to employees;

  • Encourage and facilitate the development of a robust and competitive market for individual health care coverage to provide stability for the health care system overall;

  • Leverage and encourage innovation by reducing unnecessary and costly mandates and burdens on employer-provided health benefits that limit flexibility;

  • Increase transparency of underlying financial transactions and contractual commitments in services provided by health care vendors;

  • Aggressively implement value-based payment models with provider input;

  • Expand affordable coverage by relaxing regulations on health reimbursement arrangements; and

  • Maintain and strengthen ERISA preemption.
As former President of Lilly USA, Mr. Azar has valuable experience in the pharmaceutical industry that provides needed insight on how to make drugs more affordable.  As reported in The New York Timesduring Mr. Azar's confirmation hearing on Wednesday, he "praised Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the last secretary of health and human services under President Barack Obama, for promoting 'alternative payment models' that reward doctors and hospitals for achieving better outcomes for Medicare patients.  The Trump administration has curtailed or ended some of those alternatives to the traditional fee-for-service system."  HR Policy Association looks forward to working with Mr. Azar on this and other issues.