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Experts Discuss Health Care Policies

CNBC.com
Tuesday, 4 Nov 2008 | 10:50 PM ET

As the ballots were counted on Tuesday, the experts discussed how an Obama or McCain administration would tackle health care.

The Healthcare Dilemma
The future of healthcare in an Obama administration, with Myrtle Potter, Myrtle Potter & Co. CEO; Mike McCallister, Humana president & CEO.

The Health Care Dilemma

“Senator Obama has made it clear from the beginning that he’s going to work hard to help the uninsured population and at the end of the day, the private sectors are likely to be administrating those programs, so I think there’s likely to be a business opportunity in those new developments…But the overriding factor in health care is cost, regardless of who the payer is—and he’s going to confront a huge problem with the Medicare program being completely out of control from a cost perspective.”

—Michael McCallister, President & CEO, Humana

“First of all, we’ve got to understand what the impact is going to be for Medicare. We’ve talked about it for a long time and yet the numbers just keep climbing and climbing and quite frankly, even though it’s not something pleasant to talk about, we need to step up and really address the cost in the last year of life. Approximately 30 percent of all Medicare spending is in that last year of life and somehow these tough decisions have to get on the table.”

—Myrtle Potter, Former President of Commercial Operations, Genentech

What a Democratic Win Means for Health Care
If the latest poll results are correct, Democratic candidate Barack Obama could become America's next president. Jack Scannell from Sanford C. Bernstein considers how having a Democratic party in power will affect the health-care industry.

What a Democratic Win Means for Health Care

“I think you need to dissociate between what the democrats have said they would do and what the markets seem to think what they will do. If you look at the black and white of Obama’s proposals, they do look fairly negative – maybe not for the insurers, but for the big pharmas. There are proposals to expand insurance coverage, which may bring some of the 45 million Americans who don’t have insurance—that will increase consumption a bit, but those people are generally younger, generally less sick than the elderly people who already have insurance coverage…”

—Jack Scannell, Senior Analyst Sanfor C. Bernstein

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