Congress needs to come together on health care reform: Former Aetna CEO

Channel: Fox Business
Published: 05/22/2019

Former Aetna CEO Ron Williams discusses the state of the U.S. health care system and his new book “Learning to Lead.” FOX Business Network (FBN) is a financial news channel delivering real-time information across all platforms that impact both Main Street and Wall Street. Headquartered in New Y...

Liz we're just getting this in. senate health committee, chairman lamar alexander, says he plans to release a draft tomorrow of quote bipartisan packages of bills. That would he says, lower health care costs and fix the problem of high pharmaceutical drug prices, and we know that that plus women's health issues have emerged as a hot button topic as health care. Pretty much shapes up to be a huge p ...
int of focus in the 2020 presidential election. a lot of you care about that. , i'm glad you're watching right now, because my next guest is the former chairman and ceo of one of the world's largest health care insurance companies. Aetna. , as one of the few african americans toever lead a fortune, 500 company he's just authored this book, `` learning to lead leading yourself leading others and leading an organization. ' ron williams, is here exclusively. good to see you ron. great, to be here.

Thank you for having me. liz. Lamar alexander has been working with the senate health care committee's ranking, democrat patty murray of the state of washington, and he says they together have come up with this plan. Now their first effort failed last year. What does this one? From your perspective have to have to solve a problem that so many americans are facing right now: . I think the first thing that it has - which i think is absolutely wonderful - is bipartisanship both sides of the aisle coming together to address a problem. That'S important to americans. I think it's fair to say that we do need a solution to these surprise. Emergency out-of-network bills and consumers have a right to expect that the following rules of their health plan that there should not be surprises.

liz that is sort of one of the three legs of this very important stool. lamar alexander, saying protecting patients from getting massive medical bills. That they didn't expect simply because there was an emergency and they had to go but to somebody out of network. But that brings me to what we're seeing on the screen right, now. the insurers. Since obamacare. , we know beforeobamacare, they were doing very well. since obamacare. They have done well. obamacare under attack. They have still done well.

What role must the insurer shoulder? I'M pushing you a little bit here, because my viewers know my dad was a surgeon and he railed against you guys. He said you'll notice, doctors lose hospitals, lose the pharmas, lose insurers always come out on top no matter what. , . I think it's a fair question. I think that insurers play a fundamental role in helping structure networks and in today's world they are providing data and information to both consumers and to physicians. I think that the leading health plans are entering into long-term partnerships with physicians and physician groupsto focus on creating more value and affordability. So i think there clearly is an opportunity for health plans to do better and for all aspects of the system to do better.

The underlying rate of increase in health care costs is at least two times the cpi. long term, that is not sustainable. and it's not affordable for the average family. So what we have to have are solutions that look at health care as a system, not just insurance, not pharma, not physicians, but a system that works for everyone. liz. I want folks to know who they are listening to right. Now. You are the son of a bus driver for chicago transit. Your mom was amanicurist at a beauty salon.

You were first in your family to graduate from college. Yet you rose to the ceo position and chairman of this massive company fortune 500. This book you talk about leading. , we can put up some of the tenets. You say soak up learning with no specific goal in mind. Read everything. right, you also say change people's perceptions of what is possible.

How do you do that? ? It'S extremely important to help people understand what they believe about. What'S doable. , often when you have a conversation, not an accusation, but a conversation and say help me understand why you believe: that's not doable. You are often able to get to the underlying assumptionsand help people work their way through those. That'S what we did at aetna. liz. You talk about leadership. You sit on the boards of two companies that have had leadership, crises. johnson & johnson, with the talc powder, the asbestos issue and boeing 737 max jet.

Both did not handle these crises well. What would you say they have to do from this day forward? ? Well, i think these are complicated issues. , they are legal issues, they are regulatory issues and, as a board member, i never really comment on anything that happens in the boardroom or boards. I'M actively involved. In. One thing i would say is we basically follow the science. , whatever the science dictates that'sreally, where organizations go that i'm involved with. liz ron. The book is `` learning to lead' and just reading some of these chapters you will.

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