Aetna President Pushes for Individual Mandate in Speech
Aetna President Mark Bertolini as part of a campaign to discuss U.S. health care reform with business leaders and lawmakers spoke this week in Charlotte, N.C., the Charlotte Observer reports.
In an interview with the Observer, Bertolini said that everyone in the nation should be required to have health insurance, adding that this should be done through a public-private system, not a single-payer system.
"The result of a single-payer system is decreased access and services," he said, adding, "I don't think Americans are willing to give up the access to care they have at the level of quality they have." He also advocated the expansion of Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program.
Although nationwide health reform is still years away, he said states should push for local changes to improve health insurance coverage. Bertolini said one solution would be reducing the number of coverage mandates imposed on insurers through state laws. He said that mandates make it hard to tailor a plan to young adults because they do not need or want to pay for coverage of conditions that typically affect people later in life.
"If we had more flexibility at the state level, we could actually put together a product that appeals to them," he said. He also said tailored plans would help low-income, uninsured people purchase coverage (Garloch, Charlotte Observer, 11/21).