On September 21, The Hill and the American College of Cardiology ("ACC"), hosted a discussion with Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), Rep. Brian Baird (D-WA), Dr. Ralph Brindis--the President of ACC--Dr. Jack Lewin, and Dr. John Tooker--the CEO of American College of Physicians ("ACP") to discuss patient payment reform. While the two congressmen represent opposite parties, they had one message: the current Medicare system is not efficient and reform is imperative. Coburn attested, "we have designed exactly the tragedy that we have." Specifically, he referred to the fact that Medicare does not take the quality of care into account; rather, it only considers quantity. Likewise, Baird called for an end to Medicare and Medicaid, replacing it with a needs-based voucher system. Lewin, echoing the congressmen, stated that while health reform will not get repealed, it is up to the media, physicians, and law makers--collectively--to change the delivery and payment of healthcare. Reform "isn't about getting more money for doctors, this is really about improving the way healthcare is delivered to patients," Tooker said.
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