As the debate over healthcare reform has escalated, nonprofit health insurance cooperatives have been proposed as an alternative to a government-run health insurance option. Group health cooperatives have long been a part of the American health care landscape.
What do we know about how they work?
Can they achieve the important objectives of healthcare reform by increasing choice and competition and controlling costs of health care services?
Joseph Antos is a Wilson H. Taylor Scholar in Health Care and Retirement Policy at the American Enterprise Institute. He is also a commissioner of the Maryland Health Services Cost Review Commission, a health adviser to the Congressional Budget Office, and an adjunct professor at the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Before joining AEI, Mr. Antos was Assistant Director for Health and Human Resources at the Congressional Budget Office.
At AEI, Mr. Antos's research focuses on the economics of health policy, including Medicare reform, health insurance regulation, and the uninsured. He has written and spoken extensively on the Medicare drug benefit and has led a team of experienced independent actuaries and cost estimators in a study to evaluate various proposals to extend health coverage to the uninsured. Mr. Antos also writes for AEI's Health Policy Outlook series.
Dr. Barbara Blaylock
Dr. Barbara Blaylock is a 1972 graduate of Duke University and a 1976 graduate of the Duke University School of Medicine. After a three year residency in Internal Medicine followed by a year as Chief Resident in General Internal Medicine at the University of California, San Diego, she became board certified in Internal Medicine.
She has served on the Board of Montgomery Hospice, and is a member of the Montgomery County Coalition on End of Life Care, which works to improve the care of those with life-threatening illness in the County. She currently does educational work with laypeople, hospice volunteers, health care professionals, and medical students, as well as working with patients and families.
She is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Care Sciences, where she teaches medical ethics, professionalism, and clinical interviewing skills.
She is currently on the Board of the Funerals Consumers Alliance of Maryland and Environs and a member of the ethics Committee at Suburban Hospital.
Edmund F. Haislmaier
Edmund F. Haislmaier is an expert in healthcare policy and markets at The Heritage Foundation. He is frequently asked to assist federal and state lawmakers in designing and drafting health reform proposals and legislation.
In 2006, Massachusetts enacted a major health reform plan that included health insurance reforms designed by Haislmaier. His innovation was to develop a blueprint for how states can use their authority to regulate insurance to create a consumer-centered health insurance market. Under the approach, employers can opt to enroll their workers in a state health insurance "exchange," through which each worker then buys coverage of his or her choice. Thus, employers avoid the hassles of having to administer a group plan while each worker can pick the coverage he or she wants and take it from job to job -- all without losing the current tax preferences and other benefits of employer-sponsored insurance. Since Gov. Mitt Romney signed the Massachusetts reforms into law in April 2006, 15 more states have asked Haislmaier and his colleagues to help them develop similar consumer-focused solutions for their health systems.
Dr. Robert Rosenberg
Robert Rosenberg, M.D., Professor at the Department of Global Health at George Washington University, former CEO and Medical Director of the Group Health Association in Washington, DC, one of the first health cooperatives in the United States.
Tevi Troy is a Visiting Senior Fellow at Hudson Institute, and a writer and consultant on health care and domestic policy.
On August 3, 2007, he was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. As Deputy Secretary, Dr. Troy was the chief operating officer of the largest civilian department in the federal government, with a budget of $716 billion and over 67,000 employees. In that position, he oversaw all operations, including Medicare, Medicaid, public health, medical research, food and drug safety, welfare, child and family services, disease prevention, and mental health services.
He served as the Regulatory Policy Officer for HHS, overseeing the development and approval of all HHS regulations and significant guidance. In addition, he led a number of initiatives at HHS, including implementing the President's Management Agenda, combating bio-terrorism, and public health emergency preparedness.
He also sponsored a series of key conferences on improving HHS' role with respect to innovation in the pharmaceutical, biomedical, and medical device industries.
Dr. Troy has led U.S. government delegations to Asia, the Middle East, Europe, North America, and Africa.
Edmund Haislmaier argues that the key to healthcare reform is allowing consumers to select their own insurance policy, rather than their employers. He suggests that smaller insurance companies, which employers rarely choose, could be the Apple to the larger companies' IBM.