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Healthcare reform: sustaining biotech innovation in a new world

October 28, 2009
The Eighth Annual BIO Investor Forum kicked off today with a plenary session on health care reform with expert panelists who are entrenched in the day-to-day debate of the most comprehensive changes ever proposed for the U.S. health care system.

Panelists agreed that it's been a long and complicated debate and the end of year deadline is ambitious yet within the realm of possibility. Michelle Easton, a partner at Tarplin, Downs and Young, LLC, asserted that the State of the Union address may represent a secondary deadline to hope for, if the end of year deadline is not met. Darren Willcox of Dutko Worldwide emphasized that the 'constant surge of deadlines' is not helpful to anyone, considering the importance of sweeping changes to the health care system.

Dr. David Bowen, who is a staff director for the HELP committee, pointed out that when a bill is signed, some changes - such as insurance reforms, coverage of preventive services and lifetime limits - will change in "short order" while other changes will take longer to implement.

Panelists discussed the importance of affordability in terms of effectively implementing changes to the health care system. Rick Weissenstein, a senior vice president and healthcare services analyst at the Washington Research Group, asserted that affordability is important to Democrats and Republicans alike.

Jim Greenwood, BIO's President and CEO moderated the panel via satellite from Washington.