How Trump could help Obamacare — if he wants to
Here are some steps he could take if he doesn't want health care to keep interrupting his agenda.
Bob Kocher, MD is a Partner at Venrock and focuses on healthcare IT and services investments. Prior to Venrock, Bob served in the Obama Administration as Special Assistant to the President for Healthcare and Economic Policy on the National Economic Council.
Evan Vucci / AP
Now that the repeal and replacement effort has stalled, it is important for President Trump to turn his attention to making the Affordable Care Act work — or he will have more health care headaches interrupting his agenda.
Here's how he can do it:
These actions all work to make health care more affordable and more attractive. They are all politically feasible and, if done now, would help Americans immediately and make 2018 premiums much less surprising.
I heard a health plan CEO say that he is focused on "EPS and NPS" (earning per share and net promoter score, the latter a measure of customer experience). This struck me as shortsighted.
If a health plan is ever going to deliver on a Starbucks, Amazon, or Facebook-like NPS, they need a different mindset. A mindset that say that they will invest relentlessly in the consumer experience/solving customer problems or even diluting them — this will in the short term hurt EPS. Amazon has lost money forever. Facebook burned billions in capital before making an EPS. Snap will spend $500M this year. They all do this because this is what it takes to make a great, useful and engaging technology product.
A health plan that's metering their spending, effort, and attention to satisfy EPS will never catch up and deliver a great NPS experience. And they will remain vulnerable to start-ups who can recruit better technical talent who have this ethos. It is why Castlight won the price transparency battle, and why Oscar caused so much existential fear.