Back in 2009, before the launch of the Affordable Care Act (now more commonly known as ObamaCare), journalist Maria Bartiromo asked high-profile Americans to weigh in on the health care reform debate for a CNBC special report. Michael J. Fox contributed this message, which we thought we’d share again as we wait for the Supreme Court ruling (expected this week) on ObamaCare’s constitutionality:
There may be no topic of greater importance to the United States than the future of our health care system. The discussion usually starts and ends with how to deliver health care more affordably. But why is American health care so expensive? It starts with the high cost of developing new drugs. All health care begins with the pursuit of new therapies in labs and clinics. American taxpayers fund the greatest research engine in the world. But transformative new treatments aren’t exactly rolling off the assembly line.
So how do we change the status quo? Based on the experience of our Foundation, researchers need to talk to each other more across the board. NIH and FDA need to work together more efficiently. Everyone has to keep their eyes on the prize — practical advances patients can feel in their everyday lives.
Call me an optimist, but I think we can make it happen. But it’s up to you and me to make sure the dialogue on health care reform includes the root causes of skyrocketing medical costs. If we focus only on delivery and access, in the long run our solutions will come up short.