Andy Slavitt brings leaders together to form healthcare advocacy organization

Called United States of Care, the advocacy initiative’s goal is to ensure all Americans have access to affordable care. The group is non-partisan and seeks to “put healthcare over politics.”

Shortly after Amazon, J.P. Morgan and Berkshire Hathaway announced plans to form a joint venture, one of the healthcare industry’s well-known figures is launching an initiative aimed at improving the system.

Andy Slavitt, who served as the acting administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services under the Obama administration, has brought together various leaders to form United States of Care.

The advocacy initiative’s goal is to ensure all Americans have access to affordable healthcare.

Though healthcare has become a deeply political issue, United States of Care is non-partisan and seeks to “put healthcare over politics.” It’s not based on any policy, but on three principles:

  • Every American should have a regular source of affordable care.
  • No American should face financial issues due to illness or injury.
  • Solutions have to be fiscally responsible and have broad political support.

Per his usual style, Slavitt has been actively tweeting about the nonprofit group today:

Slavitt, who serves as board chair of the organization, is joined by a number of big names inside and outside the healthcare sector, including Atul Gawande and former Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear.

Dignity Health CEO Lloyd Dean, former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, former CMS Deputy Administrator Patrick Conway, Allina Health CEO Penny Wheeler and Providence St. Joseph Health CEO Rod Hochman are also part of the organization.

Actors Bradley Whitford and Andy Richter are taking part, as is former astronaut Mark Kelly.

“Some are skeptical that we will ever get past the current political stalemate,” Slavitt wrote in an op-ed for USA Today. “This will not happen overnight. Our first step is a national listening tour to hear from families and local experts and turn what we learn into real policy changes, beginning at the state level.”

In addition to listening to personal stories, the group’s 2018 goals include providing resources and actionable approaches to policymakers and brainstorming and developing new solutions.

The Penn Leonard Davis Institute of Healthcare Economics and the Well Being Trust are partner organizations of United States of Care.

The initiative hasn’t revealed any donors, but Slavitt said he’s putting up funds, and Providence St. Joseph is providing money, according to Bloomberg. United States of Care won’t accept funds from for-profit companies or partisan groups.

“We can’t sit back and bemoan the politics,” Slavitt concluded in the op-ed. “If we expect our children and grandchildren to have a future where they can live up to their potential, change jobs without fear, benefit from the cures which are coming and not bankrupt themselves or our nation, we must come get together now and put our health ahead of our politics.”

Photo: lvcandy, Getty Images