Happy Talk on Cost Reduction

May 11th, 2009 | Sources: Washington Post

A coalition of health industry stakeholders, including some that scuttled Hillary Care in 1993, have offered to help save $2 trillion from projected increases in health spending over the next decade, according to White House officials.

healthreformtotherescueThe group includes the American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, America’s Health Insurance Plans, and the Service Employees International Union.

“We are developing consensus proposals to reduce the rate of increase in future health and insurance costs through changes made in all sectors of the system,” the stakeholders wrote in a letter to the Big O that was obtained by the Washington Post.

“We are committed to taking action in private-public partnership to create a more stable and sustainable health care system.”

The groups want to meet with Obama before offering specifics.

Obama administration officials praised the offer as one that should enhance momentum for health care reform. Their goal is to have a bill passed by the end of this summer.

“As restructuring takes hold and the population’s health improves over the coming decade, we will do our part to achieve your administration’s goal of decreasing by 1.5 percentage points the annual health care spending growth rate,” the groups wrote.

Projections are that after just 5 years, the proposal would save a family of four $2,500 per year in health-care costs. Within a decade, the savings would “virtually eliminate” the nation’s budget deficit.

healthreformissoFUNOf course this is all happy talk until the groups specify how they will achieve their cost reduction targets and how the required behavior will be monitored and enforced.

That is not going to be a walk in the park.

Still, it’s a good day for the health reform movement. Poll after poll after all has shown that while Americans care deeply about the number of uninsured citizens, their top complaint by far is the rising cost of care.


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