Sorting through the Affordable Care Act debate

An “even-keeled” conversation is more effective than spouting off anecdotes, data, or numbers when discussing with political leaders and others who may not fully understand the implications of the Republican plan to repeal, replace, or repair the Affordable Care Act (ACA), John McDonough, professor of the practice of public health at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, said on Bloomberg’s Surveillance radio program on February 22, 2017.

“The key thing about understanding the fight over the ACA is that it’s not about numbers, data, or studies, it’s about deep values that people have that are in conflict over — not just in health care — but in American society,” said McDonough, who worked in the Senate on the passage of the ACA.

McDonough said it’s difficult to predict how the ACA debate will end. While the White House and Republican leaders discuss advancing legislation that could significantly dismantle the legislation, representatives are hearing complaints from constituents who support many of the ACA provisions.

While the ACA has improved affordability of health insurance for most people affected by it, McDonough said some have experienced higher premiums. “There are things that can and should be done to improve the law that are reasonable and doable,” he said. “If Congress comes together, let’s figure out how to make this work better.”

Listen to the Bloomberg radio interview (McDonough’s interview begins at 4:29): [soundcloud url=”” params=”auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&visual=true” width=”100%” height=”450″ iframe=”true” /]

Learn more

The future of public health under President Trump (Harvard Chan School news)

A ‘death blow’ to Obamacare? (Harvard Chan School news)