11 Dec 2018

Herzlinger Editorial Influences Federal Healthcare Policy

Regina Herzlinger
Photo: Harvard Business School

The IRS Can Save American Health, a Wall Street Journal editorial by Harvard Business School Professor Dr. Regina Herzlinger and Joel Klein, former Clinton administration anti-trust chief, was instrumental in the Trump Administration’s new proposed rule to expand the use and flexibility of Health Reimbursement Arrangements for American consumers (Health Reimbursement Arrangements and Other Account-Based Group Health Plans , U.S. Government, Oct 29, 2018; Reforming America’s Healthcare System Through Choice and Competition , U.S. Government, Dec 2, 2018, Citation #306, p.82).

In the July 1, 2018 editorial, Herzlinger and Klein noted that existing IRS rulings enable firms to deposit tax-free funds that their employees could use to buy health insurance on the Affordable Care Act exchanges. The Executive Order enables Health Reimbursement Accounts to implement this idea. The new rule anticipates that this allowance will be used primarily by small- and medium-sized businesses that currently do not offer health insurance and expects it will enroll around ten million people in a decade.

Herzlinger’s work on expanding choice was also cited in a Wall Street Journal editorial by the US Secretaries of Health and Human Services, Labor, and Treasury New Health Options for Small-Business Employees, The Wall Street Journal, Oct 22, 2018). Herzlinger then chaired a panel on how innovators have expanded choice and competition in the Dec. 4 American Enterprise Institute event attended by Health and Human services Secretary Alex Azar.( C-SPAN, Dec. 5, 2018: https://www.c-span.org/video/?455447-3/health-care-choice-competition-consumer-choice-panel).

Dr. Regina Herzlinger is the McPherson Professor at Harvard Business School. Joel Klein is the Chief Policy and Strategy Officer at Oscar Health, a consumer-focused, technology-driven health insurance company

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