Can Health Care Policy Take a Page from Recent Bipartisan Efforts?

Can Health Care Policy Take a Page from Recent Bipartisan Efforts?

Originally broadcast on May 2, 2024

In the wake of recent bipartisan policy wins in Washington, can health care policy follow suit?

Dr. Anand Parekh, chief medical advisor at the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC), spoke with hosts Mark Masselli and Margaret Flinter about how the best solutions emerge from a solid understanding of the issues and the eventual give-and-take of political opponents.

For example, The Milbank Memorial Fund’s 2024 Scorecard Report of The Health of U.S. Primary Care declared that the state of “primary care is in crisis.” The report made clear the systemic lack of support for primary care is harming people’s health and weakening the U.S. health system.

Dr. Parekh agrees the issue is dire. “As a primary care physician…this is the most important health care issue in America,” he says. “A strong primary care system needs to be the foundation of our health care system. So much of what is ailing us is because we haven’t put the resources into our primary care system infrastructure.”

How can a bipartisan approach help?

Dr. Parekh points to the recent effort by the BPC to relaunch the Congressional House Primary Care Caucus, which had been dormant for years. They began by identifying bipartisan co-chairs to lead the caucus (two Democrats and two Republicans) who will be educating members about the importance of primary care before they begin to discuss policy solutions.

Dr. Parekh’s interview this week on “Conversations on Health Care” highlights how ensuring that both parties are working together from the beginning on an issue lays the foundation for mutual understanding and agreement down the line.

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