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Report: Health Care Leaders Dispute Obama's Description of Cost-Cutting Pledge
President Obama said Monday that six major health care organizations pledged to "cut the rate of growth of national health care spending by 1.5 percentage points each year, but three days later those organizations said they never committed to specific annual cuts and that the president's description of their promises has their members up in arms.

Friday, May 15, 2009

President Obama touted cost-cutting proposals made by health industry leaders as "historic" earlier in the week but insurance companies and hospitals reportedly now say he considerably overstated their promises to reduce spending.

The president said Monday that six major health care organizations had pledged to "cut the rate of growth of national health care spending by 1.5 percentage points each year -- an amount that's equal to over $2 trillion."

But three days later, The New York Times reported that those organizations said they never committed to specific annual cuts, just to cut spending gradually, and that the president's description has their members up in arms.

"There's been a lot of misunderstanding that has caused a lot of consternation among our members," said American Hospital Association President Richard J. Umbdenstock told the Times. "I've spent the better part of the last three days trying to deal with it."

According to the Times, White House Office of Health Reform Director Nancy-Ann DeParle first said "the president misspoke" but later retracted that statement saying, "His remarks correctly and accurately described the industry's commitment."


I see that Fox is the only one carrying this story~as far as I can find..
Have they jumped the gun again,(Fox) or is the health care leaders backpedaling?


try google for more articles


might want to check out the NY Times since it is quoted in the article as having the info..


yes i didNew york times it is Generated by fox news also and the google ones are blogs
but i will put this one

Backpedaling Already

The ink is scarcely dry on the “agreement” among healthcare provider groups, and now they’re all issuing “I didn’t say that” statements.
The NY Times chronicled statements by the six healthcare provider organizations, although these statements are not available on the organizations’ web sites. At issue is whether the groups actually agreed to “cut the rate of growth of national health care spending by 1.5% each year” or just promised to think about that issue over the next ten years. The AHA statement reportedly said, "The groups did not support reducing the rate of health spending by 1.5 percentage points annually." But weren't they all standing there when the President said exactly that?

All this backpedaling was apparently precipitated partly by anger and angst among the organizations’ members. No one who takes money from the pot wants to see the pot get smaller. These organizations all have a vested interested in seeing the healthcare finance pot grow. Remember, of course, that the agreement, as expressed by President Obama did not call for a reduction in healthcare expenditures—only for a reduction in the rate of growth of those expenses. Even that, however, seemed untenable for the provider groups. One remarked that the 1.5% figure was a target for ten years, not a promise for each year. Some of us would say that a 1.5% reduction in a 6+% growth rate is an ineffective gesture, but if that’s the source whence all your blessing flow, you don’t want to see any reduction at all. The American Hospital Association does not want to see less money spent on hospital care. And so on. Even with this reduction, the annual pot would continue to grow—just not quite as fast.

Yes, 1.5% of a very large number is still a very large number, but in terms of solving the key problem with healthcare, it’s nothing.

The Washington Times quotes Donald Danner of the National Federation of Independent business as saying,”(these healthcare organizations) clearly have been a major part of the problem, and they have been slow to come to the table to fix it." He also said, “The starting point must be cost, cost, cost. If legislators don't address cost, whatever else they do is not sustainable." Seems obvious that these organizations that have historically been part of the problem are not now going to be part of the solution. The phrase, “kicking and screaming” comes to mind. One thing physicians in particular fear is that Congress will pass a law that prohibits them from charging any patient more than Medicare allows.

An added impetus for cost control came with the announcement that the Medicare Trust fund will be exhausted by 2017, even sooner than expected.


I agree the health care providers are out of control and if Obama can get them under some sort of uniform program then kudos to him. I just have concerns if cutting back on money providers get will affect the type of care given, we already have enough greedy doctors .


I agree with you on greedy doctors, and health care providers/hospitals, need to knuckle down~~they have robbed people blind for to long , I would not want health care be less beneficial either. Good health care is essential,and this needs to be stressed., along eith this program..

rosco 357

MY WORDS: well lol, i was hunting something really i dont know why. fox would not be so successful if they did not put out true statements, u think the new york times would not holler is fox miss quoted them, but this is not what im posting, i found something different, from the new york times, and i will put the url, and im glad its dated friday i think.
its about the debate over healthcare, the different plans, let me say, i have always had good healthcare and it has not been expensive, and i never worried about being layed off for a few months, i just worked under the table and got on my x wifes insurance, or she started hers up, as mine was usually cheaper. but finally we at my work changed so much at where i worked for 20 years, we decided to get on my wifes even thought it cost a bit more, but it always was blue cross, blue shield, mine was cheaper usually because they would get insurance that used certain hospitals and certain doctors, my dr was on all i was on but some specialist i used were not so i had to change specialist, so thats why we went with hers.BUT now, being single i know im one lay off from being on cobra, so i hope they do get a plan i could get on if i lost my job., and i agree with the article all ppl will have to have health insurance, the reason being , im tired of ppl going to the emergency room with no insurance and u know how the hospital pays for it, i pay , i pay for the ones without insurance, , well read this,i mean i hope they will have something if i get layed off i can get on, that i can afford, i get a insurance explanation of how it pays, the dr or outpatient charge huge amounts, but that is greatly reduced for my insurance through the insurance discount the plan has worked out with providers..well im longer than the article, my only rub in the article is the illegals, article as follows,

Health Plans Would Add to Controls on Insurers

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Published: May 15, 2009

WASHINGTON — The government could rein in aggressive marketing practices of health insurance companies, regulate their premiums and allow workers to drop out of group health plans to seek a better deal on their own under legislation being developed by leading Democratic senators.
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Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Associated Press

Senator Max Baucus and Democratic colleagues support a national insurance exchange where people could buy coverage.

The Senate proposals, which emerged this week, are broadly similar to ones being drafted by the chairmen of three House committees. Democrats in both houses would vastly expand federal regulation of insurance to guarantee that all Americans have access to affordable coverage, a top priority of President Obama.

Lawmakers have not figured out how to pay for their proposals, which could easily cost more than $1 trillion over a decade. And they have not resolved the politically explosive question of whether to create a public insurance program, to compete with private insurers.

But after a week of intense discussions, in which members of the House and the Senate immersed themselves in the details of health care, Democrats began to line up in favor of several basic ideas.

Under the Senate proposals, everyone would be required to carry insurance. The requirement would take effect in 2013, but exemptions would be allowed for illegal immigrants and people with religious objections.

In addition, most employers would be required to offer insurance to their full-time workers, or else pay a special tax. The government would set minimum standards for benefits, including doctors’ services, hospital care and prescription drugs. All insurers would have to offer four levels of coverage: lowest, low, medium and high.

Insurers “could not include lifetime limits on coverage or annual limits on any benefits,” a detailed options paper from the Finance Committee says.

Under the Senate plans, the federal government would regulate the marketing of commercial insurance to families and employers, just as it regulates sales of managed care plans to Medicare beneficiaries by companies like Aetna, Humana and UnitedHealth.

While the House has not made as much progress as the Senate, House Democrats agree with their Senate colleagues that the government should establish a national health insurance exchange, or marketplace, where people could buy coverage, using standard application forms. All insurers would have to participate in the exchange, and the government would post “quality ratings” on a Web site.

Consumers could sign up for insurance at hospitals, schools, Social Security offices and state departments of motor vehicles.

Senator Max Baucus, the Montana Democrat who is chairman of the Finance Committee, said the exchange would “make purchasing health insurance easier and more understandable.”

Under the Democratic proposals, the government would offer tax credits to help people buy insurance. The credit would be available to people with incomes up to four times the poverty level ($88,200 for a family of four).

The government would also provide tax credits to help small businesses buy insurance for employees. The credit would be available to businesses with up to 25 employees, and businesses with the lowest-wage workers would get more aid.

Under the Senate proposals, the government would regulate not only insurance products, but also the marketing of insurance and sales commissions paid to insurance agents and brokers.

The Democrats would “ensure compliance” with the new requirements in several ways.

Taxpayers would have to report their health insurance coverage on their federal income tax returns. Under the main Senate proposal, the penalty for not being insured would be an excise tax, which could be as high as 75 percent of the premium for the lowest-cost health plan available in the area where a person lives.

Under the proposal, all employers with more than $500,000 in total payroll would have to offer insurance to full-time workers or “pay an assessment,” in the form of a new excise tax.

An employer offering insurance would have to pay at least 50 percent of the premium. An employer not offering insurance would have to pay the excise tax, which would increase with a company’s payroll, so the largest employers might pay $500 per employee per month.

More than 160 million Americans receive health insurance through employers, the principal source of coverage for people under 65.

One of the most notable features of the Senate proposals is that workers could drop out of an employer’s group health plan and buy private insurance on their own, outside the workplace. The employer’s normal contribution for a worker would be paid to the insurance exchange.

Democrats said that people dropping out of employer plans would, in many cases, be eligible for tax credits to defray their premiums.

Employers worry that this feature would destabilize the health plans they provide to employees.

“If people can opt out of employer-sponsored insurance and get a tax credit, that will lead to a death spiral for employer-sponsored plans,” said James P. Gelfand, senior manager of health policy at the United States Chamber of Commerce.

“People who are sick will stay in employer plans, and many young, healthy people will opt out,” Mr. Gelfand said.

The Democratic proposals would expand Medicaid to cover additional low-income families with children. And the federal government would require states to increase Medicaid payment rates for doctors and hospitals, which are often much lower than rates paid by Medicare and commercial insurers.

Democrats said they had not decided on the precise income limits, and they are still trying to figure out whether Medicaid recipients could buy coverage through the insurance exchange.


my words,> I said Fox has been proven to enhance and take away from actual lnews stories to become popular or sale themselves,and sometimes jump the gun before they get the story actually right, ~it is all over the network and i put two posts here showing this,people watch it because it is entertaining and not for the actual news that has also been quoted.,it is also leans republican ,it is not fair and balanced.

on the insurance article, it sounds favorable,i need to read it closer, i just skimmed over it~

rosco 357

if i understand ur last sentence , u skimmed the article i posted, from the new york times on the insurance plans being hammered out this last week, i understand it ,all the ideas, it will be tough, if obama thinks the terrrorist are tough, wait till he takes on the health industry, but he better hurry, he may not have a majority after the 2010 midterm elections, as clinton ran into, and hillarys healthcare plans was a major part of that midterm outcome, but she did hers behind closed doors, no easy answers, i hope they can come up with something that if fair and can work,, i know my sister her family is in construction business its a family business they use other companies to do the work , they do some, but its the family, , and they pay alot for insurance that pays a pittiful amount, mine is ten time better, but its not what it was, we just had ours changed to hold down premiums to the same amount, but the part we pay the dr and hospitals is more, but im still in ok shape on my coverage.

rosco 357

on fox , u have to realize they have real news shows, but some shows are commentary type shows with guest, sometimes with guest from both sides of an issue , that is not news, the guest may quote and argue the news, but its entertainment and educational, but to me its not hard to decide what is news and commentary, they have shows just like networks have nightly news, but later commentary news, but u learn alot from those shows if u watch them,


I watched them more the last couple weeks, just like the video on pelosi /pendetta the fox guy was trying to slam the one defending pelosi` that is what i don't like, they bully the opposing side~ they again are not fair or balanced~~ they need to change their logo~ that is my point~

on the insurance it has some good points ,but don't know if i agree completely.. yes something needs to be done right away`

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