Former CMS boss says reforms underway, regardless of how Supreme Court rules

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Former CMS boss says reforms underway, regardless of how Supreme Court rules
Former CMS boss says reforms underway, regardless of how Supreme Court rules

Even if the Supreme Court repeals the Affordable Care Act, its early reforms have already delivered promising benefits, according to former Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Donald Berwick, M.D.

In a speech delivered Monday at the American Health Lawyers Association's annual meeting in Chicago, Berwick noted that the “reform train has already left the station.” He added that many changes, such as the shift toward team-based care structures and the implementation of care coordination programs are already meeting their goals in terms of lowering healthcare costs.

Berwick admitted that it's possible that the Court could overturn the entire law. But he predicted such a course would leave a policy and payment vacuum.

“I don't understand [why the court would repeal the law]. It would mean going back to, what? It's going back to something that doesn't work. The president, whoever it is, is still going to have that problem to solve,” Berwick added.

Berwick resigned from CMS late in 2011 when his term as administrator expired.