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Session 6: Live Health Care Debate

Retail Alliances – Not Washington – Will Save the U.S. Health Care System

Moderated by John Donvan of Intelligence Squared U.S.

Last year, Intelligence Squared U.S. and Mayo Clinic brought to the stage a bold inquiry about whether health care in the United States is terminally broken. And this year, we’re picking up where that discussion left off, against the backdrop of corporate behemoths announcing mergers that, they say, are sure to shake up health care – from the Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan Chase venture, to the CVS-Aetna deal, to the Humana-Walgreens partnership, and more. But while these superpower alliances are making a splash in the headlines, will they actually be able to disrupt, and save, U.S. health care? Proponents argue that the bargaining power and data competencies of these retailers will squeeze middlemen out of an inefficient supply chain and bring more transparency to health care pricing. But others argue that the promise of these novel efforts is overstated or misguided, particularly because U.S. health care is so complex and deeply rooted. And, they say, there are privacy issues to worry about: Do you really want retailers to have access to your medical records?

For the motion:

Dr. Rajaie Batniji, Co-Founder & Chief Health Officer, Collective Health

W. Gregg Slager, Senior Partner and Global Health Leader, EY

Against the motion:

Dr. Lisa Bielamowicz, Co-Founder & President, Gist Healthcare

Rosemarie Day, Founder & CEO, Day Health Strategies