Health care reform requires bipartisanship, fmr. Aetna CEO says

Former Aetna CEO Ron Williams tells FOX Business’ Liz Claman that finding a solution to surprise out-of-network billing is crucial to fixing the state of health care in the United States.

“Consumers have a right to expect that if they are following the rules of their health plan that there should not be surprises,” Williams said during an exclusive interview on Wednesday.

Senate Health Committee leaders Lamar Alexander, R.-Tenn., and Patty Murray, D-Wash., are planning to release a bipartisan health care bill that would lower the cost of high pharmaceutical drug prices.

“The first thing that it has which I think it’s absolutely wonderful is bipartisanship. It’s both sides of the aisle coming together to address a problem that’s important to Americans,” Williams said about the plan to shore up the Affordable Care Act health insurance markets.

Williams said health insurers play a fundamental role in helping structure networks by providing data and information to both consumers and physicians. He added that leading health plans are entering into long-term partnerships with physician groups to focus on creating more value and affordability. “I think there’s clearly an opportunity for health plans to do better and for all aspects of the system to do better.”

Insurance companies' stock prices have soared since Obamacare was enacted in 2010 with United Health Group gaining a whopping 654 percent. Anthem Inc., meanwhile is up 336 percent and Cigna is up 315 percent in that time period.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
UNH UNITEDHEALTH GROUP INC. 469.00 +23.54 +5.28%
CI THE CIGNA GROUP 346.85 -2.05 -0.59%
ANTM n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.

Williams, who serves on the board of Boeing and Johnson & Johnson, is one of the few African Americans to ever lead a Fortune 500 company. He is the son of a bus driver for Chicago transit and his mother was a manicurist at a local beauty salon.


Williams is the first in his family to graduate from college, rising through the corporate ladder and becoming the CEO and Chairman of a massive health insurance company. He just authored “Learning to Lead,” a book to help people work their way through achieving their goals. “It is extremely important to help people understand what they believe about what’s doable,” Williams said.