Viable approaches to a federal replacement plan – California provides model

View all blog posts under Articles

We are pleased to share with you an op-ed that ran this week in the Sacramento Bee, written by our Board of Councilors member Leonard Schaeffer – founding chairman and former CEO of WellPoint, (a.k.a. Anthem) and Dana Goldman – director of the Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics, a joint Center of the USC Price School of Public Policy and the USC School of Pharmacy.

This op-ed makes an important contribution to discussions about the future of our national healthcare system.

Changing the Affordable Care Act, whether by replacement or repeal, is complex work and will test a myriad of systems. The op-ed describes viable approaches to a federal replacement plan, offering insights from California’s state-run marketplace.

We are proud of the important role the Schaeffer Center continues to play in improving insurance design and of its ongoing commitment to improve value in health.

This article outlines the California approaches

that any federal replacement plan should encourage other states to adopt:

  • Manage the marketplace proactively while leveraging behavioral research on what makes consumers better shoppers.
  • Ensure a balanced risk pool by attracting healthy people to subsidize the others, and ensuring a level playing field for health plans that had to price for new, standardized, comprehensive policies.
  • Aggressively market the exchange by targeting younger and healthier people — most especially if there is no individual mandate.

Read the complete op-ed on the Sacramento Bee:

Schaeffer & Goldman mugshots.png
Leonard D. Schaeffer is the founding chairman and former chief executive officer of WellPoint, known as Anthem. He is the founder of the Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy & Economics at the University of Southern California. He can be contacted at
Dana Goldman is director of the Schaeffer Center and a professor of public policy, pharmacy and economics at USC. He can be contacted at