Cleveland Clinic Diagnoses Health-Care Act

By Anna Wilde Mathews
The Wall Street Journal, December 18, 2012

Just over a year from now, the Affordable Care Act is set to unleash enormous change in the health-care sector, and Cleveland Clinic Chief Executive Delos “Toby” Cosgrove is preparing his institution by expanding its reach and striving to make caregivers more cost-conscious.

WSJ: Do you think employers will stop providing health insurance, even though they can pay a penalty under the health overhaul law?

Dr. Cosgrove: The first ones will be the small companies… Every CEO I’ve talked to knows how much he’d save between insuring his people and paying the federal penalty.

WSJ: What does that tell you?

Dr. Cosgrove: The first time some big player does that, it’s going to fall like dominoes. What that does is drive everybody to the exchanges.

WSJ: What does that mean to you?

Dr. Cosgrove: It’s going to be a faster move towards one payer. Increasingly, people think that in 10 years you’re going to have 75% of the health-care costs paid by the federal government.

WSJ: You think we’re moving toward a single-payer system?

Dr. Cosgrove:
Well, the question is how long…I don’t think in the next 10 years, but I think it probably is going to head in that direction.…

Cleveland Clinic President and CEO Delos “Toby” Cosgrove confirms what Physicians for a National Health Program has been saying all along. It’s not whether we’ll ever have single payer, it’s how long.

It’s our job to expedite it.