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Q&A: A conversation with Patrick J. Kennedy
Interview by Peter Wehrwein
Insurers are playing “small ball” and not showing leadership, says the former congressman. And some “spin-dry” inpatient providers are doing more harm than good in combating the opioid epidemic. Meanwhile, Kennedy, who chronicled his own harrowing mental health and addiction struggles in a 2015 memoir, says he has been sober for more than six years.
A Conversation with Stephen W. Schondelmeyer
Interview by Peter Wehrwein
This professor of pharmaceutical economics in the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy says that the rising level of health care spending is unsustainable. He argues that drug price increases should be reviewed and PBMs should be regulated. “We need [a] bona fide rate regulation review body that can meaningfully evaluate the information presented by drug companies.”
Interview by Peter Wehrwein

Henry DePhillips

The CMO of Teladoc, one of the country’s largest telemedicine providers, certainly knows how to sing the praises of the industry, and handle devil’s advocate kind of questions as well. Most of Teledoc’s customers are commercial insurers and employers. Medicare? Not so much. Medicaid makes “perfect sense.”
Interview by Peter Wehrwein
Journalist David France’s How to Survive A Plague is a searing firsthand account of the early years of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in New York City. AIDS activists, most of them gay men, were fighting for their lives. Researchers, politicians, public health officials, and pharma were slow to respond—or resisted outright.
Interview by Peter Wehrwein
Marc Harrison, MD
The new president and CEO of Intermountain looks ahead to the Utah system becoming a referral center and says last year’s net operating margin can be chalked up to an implementation of an electronic medical record system.
Interview by Peter Wehrwein

Vinay Prasad, MD

The intrepid young oncologist’s criticism of cancer screening and surrogate endpoints has stirred up controversy. Prasad thinks that providers should offer medical therapies that do more good than harm. “I mean things that matter to people, which is living longer, living better.”
Interview by Peter Wehrwein

Scott Gottlieb, MD

Medicaid expansion often means a hollow benefit, says this resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. There will be some reluctance for sweeping reform, but the exchanges are in trouble and have little political support. Expect some movement there.
Interview by Peter Wehrwein

Paul Starr

The Princeton sociologist and Pulitzer Prize winner says that the law left the health care system largely intact. A Clinton presidency could mean important adjustments to the law, including addressing the omission of a public option. Trump’s proposals would effectively end regulation of insurance.