Cleveland Clinic CEO thinks bipartisanship could fix healthcare's cost problem

Toby Cosgrove, who sits on one of President Donald Trump’s committees, says efficient care and keeping people well is the answer.
By Bernie Monegain
11:05 AM
Toby Cosgrove Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland Clinic CEO Toby Cosgrove wants everyone to know that Obamacare was in fact a Republican brainchild.

“You have to realize that this bill initially was a Republican idea that you saw Mitt Romney take in Massachusetts,” he said Friday on CBS This Morning.

Cosgrove said the Affordable Care Act, which Republicans failed to repeal this month, sought to increase coverage, improve quality and reduce cost.

“It certainly expanded coverage, and the quality measures gradually improved,” he said. “The problem is cost continued to rise.”

One reason for that is more people, especially elderly people, entered the healthcare system. And without changes in the healthcare delivery system, he expects costs will continue to rise.

However, Cosgrove said there’s an opportunity to go back to Congress to work out how to hold costs down, how to provide healthcare more efficiently and how to keep more people well.

“Unless we try to have the most efficient care – and we try to keep people well and out of the healthcare delivery system, then I think that we’re not going to be able to control the cost,” he said.

Cosgrove is a member of the President Donald Trump’s Strategic and Policy Forum, a group of business leaders who advise the president on a wide range of issues. The committee has met once since the election and the next meeting is set for April 11.

“I hope that we will continue to just do what I said: Focus on how we can make the care more efficient. There are lots of ways we can do that – and one of the things we have to do is we’ve got to keep people well,” he said.

Despite Republican Party infighting as well as Democratic objections to ideas from the Trump administration, Cosgrove said he thinks lawmakers can make progress.

"It's hard to argue against decreasing cost,” he said. “I think this could be a bipartisan-supported bill.”

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