J&J’s Gorsky Lauds Obamacare, Says More Reform Needed

Friday, 08 Mar 2013 08:10 AM

By Dan Weil

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Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky has kind words for the Affordable Care Act, but says more reform is necessary.

The changes advanced in Obamacare “are clearly in the best interest of healthcare,” he tells CNBC. “What we need in the long run is a system that rewards innovation” and increases access.

As for Obamacare’s impact so far, “in the short term, we have seen the cost curve start to bend a little bit,” Gorsky says. But the aging population is “clearly going to put increasing pressure on the system.”

Forbes Columnist:
‘Who the Hell Cleared This?’

The “biggest” challenges include curbing healthcare costs, encouraging innovation and treating severe diseases, Gorsky notes. The country needs “a conversation” about sustainable and affordable healthcare, as it faces various threats, he adds.

“This issue of healthcare is on everyone’s mind,” Gorsky maintains. Disabling diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes will represent “major cost drivers, particularly in an aging population where there is a high incidence rate.”

Many have come to accept Obamacare, including Republican governors who had been vociferous opponents but now have decided to accept federal aid for Medicaid in their states.

But there are still some holdouts.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, will offer an amendment to the continuing resolution spending bill that would delay funding for Obamacare.

“The very first priority of every elected official — Democrat and Republican — should be restoring economic growth, so we can ensure continued strength, prosperity and opportunity for the next generations,” Cruz said in a statement.

“Obamacare does precisely the opposite. It is already hurting small businesses, reducing the hours Americans are allowed to work, forcing employers to drop coverage and leading to substantial increases in healthcare premiums, especially for young people.”

But Cruz’ effort will go nowhere in the Democratic-controlled Senate.

Forbes Columnist: ‘Who the Hell Cleared This?’

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