Health policy professor seeks bipartisan health care fix


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Thursday was a long night that stretched into the early morning hours as the U.S. Senate failed to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

For those who research health care, and those impacted by reform, it’s been a wild couple of months.

Sayeh Nikpay, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Health Policy Department at Vanderbilt University.

She’s also an economist who studies health care reform.

She told News 2 the debate over repeal has helped people better understand what is actually in the Affordable Care Act.

“It took this process of telling people what might be taken away from them for people to realize what was on the line,” said Nikpay.

In Tennessee, a lot is on the line.

Around 230,000 Tennesseans could lose their coverage if the ACA is repealed.

For hospitals, big and small, it could mean more uncompensated care, or treating people who come in the door but can’t afford to pay.

“I think a full repeal would have been devastating for Tennessee,” Nikpay told News 2 Friday.

The debate over repealing the ACA is dead in the water, at least for now. What happens next is still unclear.

Dr. Nikpay said the current system is not perfect, but that it can be fixed within the framework of the Affordable Care Act.

“I think the Affordable Care Act solved many problems in our health care system. But there’s still more to go. There was recently a poll released by a health policy tracking group that suggested 60 to 70 percent of Americans want to see a bipartisan effort to fix what’s there.”

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