Apr 12, 2017

The deep cynicism about Trumpcare and drug prices

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

The venture capital firm Venrock is out with an interesting survey today: It made the rounds with 274 executives from health IT startups, employers, insurers, providers, investors and other smart people. The big findings: they're deeply cynical about the prospects for both Obamacare repeal and a crackdown on rising drug prices. Most think Obamacare will be fixed and rebranded, not repealed — and they think there will be action on drug prices, but not "meaningful" action.

What will happen to Obamacare:

  • Repealed and replaced: 20 percent
  • Repealed: 8 percent
  • Repaired: 40 percent
  • Renamed: 32 percent

Will drug prices be restrained:

  • Yes, meaningfully: 5 percent
  • Yes, but marginally: 49 percent
  • Yes, voluntarily in response to populist concerns: 19 percent
  • No, nothing will happen: 27 percent

What it means: Bob Kocher, a partner at Venrock and a member of the Axios board of experts, says the survey probably reflects a "west coast bias" on Obamacare — they don't think Congress would actually pass a law that would reduce health coverage. And on drug pricing, he said, it's because of extreme skepticism: "I think this is one where people can't imagine Congress acting."

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