Healthcare powerhouses form coalition, but its policy stances are mostly unknown

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A new coalition of industry giants says it will fight for "affordability" and "quality," but exact policy positions they support are still unknown. (tostphoto/iStock )

Amid increasing premiums and drug costs, and proposed overhauls to the healthcare sector, industry powerhouses have come together to form a new coalition. 

But exactly what they will advocate for remains a mystery. 

Nine companies currently make up the new the Partnership for America’s Health Care Future (PAHCF,) which was announced Thursday, including America's Health Insurance Plan, the American Medical Association, the Federation of American Hospitals, PhRMA and BlueCross BlueShield Association.

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The coalition said it supports general issues like "affordability, options, access, quality and innovation," but specific policy stances and advocacy routes were not revealed. 

Erik Smith, a spokesman for the coalition, told FierceHealthcare that “the group is still in its early stages and is focused on adding more members to the coalition and identifying specific policy positions solutions."

The groups, which hail from different sectors of the healthcare world, appear to mostly agree on some specific policy issues, including criticizing President Donald Trump's plan to move Medicare Part B drugs into Part D, as well as opposing expansion of short-term health plans. 

RELATED: A rapidly depleting Medicare fund could renew calls for major reform

The coalition also said it supports "preserving" Medicare and Medicaid, and follows the recent annual Medicare Board of Trustees report which found Medicare funds will be depleted by 2026. 

Such positions could forecast what specific policy stances the coalition will advocate for down the road

However, nine organizations haven't always seen eye-to-eye, which could make crafting specific policy positions difficult. Both FAH and AMA have criticized insurers for driving up premiums and cutting physician payments through market consolidation. Likewise, AHIP has lamented the hidden costs of provider mergers. 

All three of those organizations have railed against rising drug costs.

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