Healthcare Industry Plan Mandates Welcome Cost Reductions

Barack Obama may get his way on healthcare reform with the full cooperation of those who vocally lobbied against it during the 1990s.  The timing couldn’t be better — healthcare costs total $2.4 trillion annually (an average of $7,868 per person) and are projected to rise to $4 trillion by 2016.health-care-reform-more-critical-than-ever_large

In a reversal, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, physicians and other industry leaders presented a plan to the White House proposing to save $2 trillion in healthcare delivery costs over the next 10 years.  Participants included the American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association, the Advanced Medical Technology Association, America’s Health Insurance Plans and the Service Employees International Union — which master-minded the bold move.  Although healthcare costs will continue to rise, this plan will slow the pace.

“We cannot continue down the same dangerous road we’ve been traveling for so many years, with costs that are out of control, because reform is not a luxury that can be postponed, but a necessity that cannot wait,” Obama said.

Obama’s proposed plan is based on the existing system, where employers, the government and individuals share responsibility for paying for privately delivered healthcare.  The government will subsidize coverage for additional people and mandate stricter consumer protection.

It’s evident that the healthcare industry has seen the writing on the wall.  Their willingness to work with the Obama Administration and Congress – compared with the fierce opposition to Bill Clinton’s healthcare reform efforts 15 years ago – is a turnaround that should translate to real change.

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