Senior Romney Health Adviser: Obamacare Can Move Health Care System In The Right Direction

Mike Leavitt, President George W. Bush’s former Secretary of Health and Human Services and a senior adviser to Mitt Romney, says the Affordable Care Act could help reduce health care costs and transform America’s existing fee-for-service health care model. In an apparent break from Romney’s pledge to “easily” repeal the law, Leavitt told ModernHealthcare that the measure could help move the nation in the right direction:

Mike Leavitt, the former secretary of HHS under President George W. Bush and current Romney adviser, said the federal government’s historic $15 trillion debt will drive “hard” changes in healthcare system to reduce its costs. Those changes, including moving across healthcare from a fee-for-service model to outcomes based payment, may be facilitated by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Romney has repeatedly urged repeal and replacement of the law.


The law “gives the secretary authority to do certain things that are clearly aimed at trying to move us in this direction,” he said in a brief interview after addressing a Washington gathering of the Cancer Action Network. “A lot of it will depend on how aggressively the secretary chooses to use the authorities in the law to move us in that direction.”

Leavitt’s consulting firm, Leavitt Partners, is also heavily invested in the health law’s exchanges and “has been advising companies and state legislatures” on how to build the new marketplaces. He has also said that companies and states will likely implement the measure despite the GOP’s efforts to unravel the law, arguing that “they recognize that individual insurance shoppers and small businesses have long been at a disadvantage, lacking the negotiating power of large companies that can demand better prices.”