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Cigna CEO on 'Medicare for all': We’re ‘well-positioned’ for a variety of scenarios

This week Congress held its first hearing on “Medicare for all,” an ambitious and progressive Democratic bill sponsored by Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA). It’s a bill that will face a steep climb in a Congress with a Republican-controlled Senate and even detractors within the party that disagree on exactly what Medicare for all would look like.

But if insurance and health care providers are concerned, they aren’t letting it show.

Speaking to Yahoo Finance, Cigna CEO David Cordani said that the company was “well-positioned under a variety of scenarios.”

“We're less of an insurer, more of a service-based company,” Cordani said. “We have 165 million customer relationships around the world. We support clients, employers, clients or health plans, governmental agencies. We sell direct to individuals. And we're expanding services to support physicians who are taking performance-based responsibilities.”

Despite posting strong earnings reports, health care stocks have been slammed recently, thanks to the idea of Medicare for all gaining tractionCigna’s first-quarter earnings beat estimates, topping EPS by 15 cents. The company also raised its 2019 outlook. Cigna’s stock has lost over 40% in the last 6 months.

“We are used to operating in a pretty dynamic environment, whether it's competitive forces, technological innovations, legislative forces like the ACA, or the current conversation relative to Medicare for all,” Cordani said. “First and foremost, we believe in further strengthening the public-private partnerships that are delivering really strong value.”

“Medicare Advantage is a great example of that,” he said. “Programs for dual eligible individuals are an example of that. Our progress on the federal and state-based exchanges are an example of that.”

It’s still unclear what Medicare for all would look like. The Congressional Budget Office recently released its analysis of the proposal, which found that 60% of Americans who currently have insurance do so through their employer from companies like Cigna. A government-run program would replace that, though according to the CBO, it’s possible for a new program to include the option for Americans to “opt out” and continue to receive insurance from the private sector.

“The marketplace will continue to change,” Cordani said. “Stepping back, we believe in enhancing the public-private partnership as opposed to a ‘one size fits all.’ And we've positioned ourselves as a well-run service-based company to be able to serve customers around the world.”

Kristin Myers is a reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter.

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