"What to Expect": National Conference Fellow, Dr Don McCanne, to Present on Health Care Financing Issues

The 25th National Conference on Primary Health Care Access will take place April 14-16, 2014 at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco, located in San Francisco’s lively, tourist-friendly Embarcadero.

A prestigious plenary faculty will examine the current state of health care access and reform efforts in the United States, particularly the initial steps at implementing 2010’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).

Don McCanne, MD; Physicians for a National Health Program, San Clemente, California
Don McCanne, MD; Physicians for a National Health Program, San Clemente, California

PPACA has proven to be controversial legislation. Even though as originally conceptualized, it contained numerous reforms desired by many in the health policy community, its specific structure was arguably the result of political opportunism – a moment in time when there existed the right number of votes to pass the legislation.

The opportunity to alter the original legislation faded with a series of political defeats for PPACA’s proponents in Senate and House elections.

But those political defeats were not large enough in numbers to bring about any changes in the legislation, even those that might be desired by the legislation’s original supporters.

Implementation is proceeding in a period of intense politicization of the electorate’s concerns about the state of health care in America.

The New Republic’s “Eight Wonks Share Their 2014 Obamacare Predictions”

When the policy-oriented periodical The New Republic decided to post an article entitled “Eight Wonks Share Their 2014 Obamacare Predictions”, they turned to such national figures as the Gail Wilensky, the former head of the federal government’s Medicare and Medicaid programs and the Commonwealth Funds David Blumenthal.

They also chose one the National Conference’s fellows and plenary faculty members, Don McCanne, MD, to be one of the eight assessing the legislation’s future.

Dr McCanne’s Problem with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

Dr McCanne has long argued that the perceived problems of the American health care system are directly related to how it is financed.

He has found fault with PPACA’s underlying premise, that American health care should be organized through a mix of commercial and non-profit prepaid health plans, partially subsidized (for those not qualified for Medicare) by more or less means-tested federal subsidies.

San Francisco's collection of historic trolleys from around the world glide by the Hyatt Regency
San Francisco Muni Railway’s collection of the historic trolleys pass by the Hyatt Regency

Dr McCanne practiced family medicine in San Clemente, California for over three decades. He served as chief of staff of San Clemente hospital, and was the chairman of the board of a very successful community-oriented bank.

He retired from practice to become a full time volunteer in the health care reform movement. He has served two terms as national president of Physicians for a National Health Program. He currently serves as their senior health policy fellow.

He writes a daily column commenting on the health policy implications of current press articles and reports from the policy literature. The column is distributed to list members and posted on the PNHP website as “Quote of the Day.”

The New Republic Article referred to above may be accessed at: http://www.newrepublic.com/article/116080/eight-experts-predict-how-obamacare-will-fare-2014