Event summary: Understanding the Healthcare Debate

Laur Hesse Fisher • November 21, 2020 • Virtual, Event Summary

On Wednesday, November 18, we held a virtual event, Understanding the Healthcare Debate, with guest expert Dr. Matthew Fiedler, fellow with the USC-Brookings Schaeffer Initiative for Health Policy.

Dr. Fiedler laid out how Americans get healthcare today:

A slide from Dr. Matthew Fiedler’s Civic Series presentation.

 

He explained that the debate essentially is about two things:

  • coverage: who has insurance, who pays for it, what it covers, and the government’s role, and
  • spending: the overall amount Americans spend on healthcare.

And within those topics, there are two types of disagreements happening:

  • on core values: what folks think is right or wrong (like the role of government); and
  • what policies actually work (like, if expanding coverage actually improves people’s health).

He compared the major proposals in the mix today — Biden’s plan, a single payer system (like Bernie’s Medicare for All), and proposals to pare back coverage programs — and how they come from a different set of values and ideas about what policies actually work.

A slide from Dr. Matthew Fiedler’s Civic Series presentation.

 

He surprised us with an explanation of where healthcare spending actually goes.

A slide from Dr. Matthew Fiedler’s Civic Series presentation.

 

He also answered attendees’ questions about how much Americans spend on healthcare versus other countries, the impact of Covid-19, the future of telehealth, and much more.

Watch the whole session here:

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