Johnson & Johnson CEO: US health care system best in class

Johnson & Johnson CEO on the Medicare-for-all debate

Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky on the Medicare-for-all debate, efforts to rein in drug prices, the use of technology in health care and the company's legal battles.

Alex Gorsky, the CEO of Johnson & Johnson, one of the world’s largest health care conglomerates, said that the U.S. health care system is the best in class and changes to the current system should not minimize the importance personal care.

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“We owe a huge thanks every day to the doctors, nurses, the surgeons, the administrators, the technicians who are providing care in this country,” he told FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo on Wednesday.

“One of the great aspects of my job is I get a chance to travel around the world to see health care and I can tell you that when you're in need of health care that there are few other places, if any, that you would rather be than right here in the United States.”

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However, that doesn’t mean the U.S. doesn’t need to make changes to the current system, he said.

There are many proposals that have people questioning how U.S. health care could change in the future. Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders recently wrote that “Medicare for All will save Americans from health care crisis” and “does not threaten to bankrupt people in order to enrich greedy CEOs,” in an op-ed for USA Today.  But Gorsky said we need to make sure that health care is done in an “extremely thoughtful” way.

“When we start talking about almost 20 percent of the American economy, when we start thinking about eight out of 10 jobs, and very importantly, we start talking about the personal aspect that we have as it relates to health care, whether it's our mother or father, someone being treated, making that kind of change, we've got to make sure that is done in a very comprehensive, thoughtful way.”

And in Gorsky’s opinion, people don’t understand what Medicare for All would mean — eliminating the private insurance industry is a very big deal.

“Look, in even the very best sense, it's going to take a public-private partnership similar to what we have today,” he said, adding that there are “certain things we should be doing.”

“I think one aspect, frankly, is how do we, you know, keep people out of the hospital? How do we put a greater emphasis on health and get out and wellness, primary care,” he said. “And even right now we shouldn't let your, your life expectancy be determined by what zip code you live in.”