Cleveland Clinic CEO Dr. Toby Cosgrove on Trump, the ACA's future and more: 5 quotes


Earlier this month, Toby Cosgrove, MD, CEO of the Cleveland Clinic, was named to a panel that will offer advice to President-elect Donald Trump once he talks office. On Thursday, Bloomberg released a video interview with Dr. Cosgrove, covering the panel, President-elect Trump and more.

Here are five key quotes from Dr. Cosgrove on the advisory panel, the future of the ACA and other key healthcare topics, pulled from the Bloomberg interview. See the full interview here.

1. Why he was named to the panel. "My understanding is President-elect Trump wants to hear from people, that's the way he learns, and we will give him unfiltered advice."

2. On the ACA and its future. "The Affordable Care Act I think really was designed to control the cost of healthcare. Hence the name, 'affordable' — affordable for individuals and affordable for the country. The concern I think right now is that it's not really done very well on either one of those…"

"My guess is there's not going to be a repeal of everything. It's a very big bill, it's a very complicated thing, it's something that the healthcare industry has been going on the road now for seven years, and to just completely wipe it out would be incredibly disruptive. I think there will be a period of transition over time and we'll have to see how that works out."

3. On industry consolidation to cut healthcare costs. "I think you're going to have to begin to understand that you've got to consolidate the healthcare delivery system. In Ohio we have 202 hospitals. And if you look at every other industry in the United States, you've seen consolidation of those industries for efficiency. I think the Justice Department has not wanted to see that happen across the healthcare industry."

4. On cutting healthcare costs by keeping people well. "You look at two major things: cigarette smoking and sugar and obesity. And we've got to begin to address those as a nation. The No. 1 preventable cause of cancer is smoking, and certainly a major contributor to obesity is sugar. And there's not a lot of appetite for addressing either one of those, but I think as a nation ultimately we have to come to grips [with them]."

5. On prescription drug prices. "I think this is a very tough problem to fix. Certainly we're not going to have price controls; I think that's out of the question. I think [it's] very unlikely that we're going to have imports coming into this country. I think the main thing you can do is encourage the FDA to move things through faster so that you get more choices, generics, etc."

"We have a tremendous amount of advertising that goes on in the pharmaceutical [industry]. There are only two countries in the world that allow pharmaceutical [companies] to advertise: New Zealand and the United States. It would be very nice if we had total transparency around cost and advertising budgets, etc., and then I think we would begin to get someplace."

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