WASHINGTON, D. C. — Hospitals and insurance companies on Thursday said Pres. Barack Obama substantially overstated their promise earlier this week to reduce the growth of health spending, according to the New York Times.
Pres. Obama had asked health care industry leaders — representatives of hospitals and insurers, medical device and drug companies, labor and doctors – to the White House on Monday to tell the nation about their commitments to cut costs.
“These groups are voluntarily coming together to make an unprecedented commitment,” Obama said during a press conference Monday (video). “Over the next 10 years, from 2010 to 2019, they are pledging 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 … $2 trillion.
“Their efforts will help us take the next and most important step — comprehensive health care reform — so we can do what I pledged to do as a candidate, and save a typical family an average of $2,500 on their health care costs in the coming years.
“Let me repeat that point, what they’re doing is complementary to and is going to be complete compatible with a strong, aggressive effort to move health care reform through here in Washington with an ultimate of saving health care costs for families, businesses and the government.”
Health care leaders who attended Monday’s meeting interpreted their commitments differently. They say they agreed to slow health spending in a more gradual way and did not pledge specific year-by-year cuts, the Times said.
By Thursday, confusion over the commitments reigned in Washington as health care trade groups tried to reassure members, the Times said.
More stories worth a read:
- House Republicans seek to engage Obama on reform (Washington Post Daily Dose blog)
- Pelosi signals health plan could be funded by tax increase (Washington Post Daily Dose blog)
- Sen. Max Baucus: Answer 10 questions from mandatory purchase of health care insurance including why the public was excluded from today’s committee meeting (Consumer Watchdog/PRNewswire)
- Eli Lilly CEO makes case against public health insurance plan (Wall Street Journal Health blog)
- Nurses lobby for single-payer system, new workplace regs (FierceHealthcare)
- New York City official is Obama pick for C.D.C. (New York Times)
- National Community Pharmacists Association accuses CVS of questionable marketing practices (Drug Topics/Modern Medicine)
- Grassley ups total of undisclosed fees paid to prof by Glaxo (Wall Street Journal Health blog)
- University of Michigan purchase of former Pfizer facility nears completion, paving the way for research expansion and job creation (University of Michigan News Service)
- Biogen Idec pipeline strong, Tysabri coming back; Icahn would ‘weaken’ board, company says (Xconomy Boston)
- Electronic fertility patch being tested at University Hospitals (WKYC/Associated Press)
- MetroHealth Medical System’s free van service to continue on temporary basis (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
- Case study: Pharma works with hospital to create clinic (FierceHealthcare)
- Minneapolis health center cutting 75 to 100 more jobs (Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune)
[Photo of Pres. Barack Obama meeting with health care stakeholders in the Roosevelt Room at White House May 11, 2009. Official White House Photo by Pete Souza]