Serious Heathcare Reform – Industry Pledges $2 Trillion in Cuts

healthcare-rehabWow! $2 trillion (that’s trillion with a “T”) in savings from the Health Care industry. Now that’s a pledge. Or is it?

From WaPo:

The pledge comes amid a debate over how, or whether, to overhaul the nation’s health-care system, and Obama administration officials predicted that it will significantly increase momentum for passing such changes this year.

The groups aim to achieve the proposed savings by using new efficiencies to trim the rise in health-care costs by 1.5 percent a year, the officials said. That would carry huge implications for the national economy and the federal budget, both of which are significantly affected by health-care expenses.

One of the only things that I liked about Ronald Reagan was his mantra “trust but verify.” Although this pledge would help decrease the amount of money taxpayers would have to shell out for health care… as Hans Solo said, “I have a bad feeling about this.”

From NYT:

At this point, administration officials said, they do not have a way to enforce the commitment, other than by publicizing the performance of health care providers to hold them accountable.

Once the momentum for changing the Health Care system is gone, it will be gone for some time. We have to do this right,now. We have strike now. We need to put in place a system that is going to work for 10 or more years. If we are going to mess around and come up with some compromise that will need to be “fixed” or “looked at” every 2 to 4 years then this compromise is worth less than the paper that it is (not) printed on.

0 Responses

  1. It’s more than that. Where are these “savings” coming from? They have basically pledged to stop bilking the sick and the female. They admitted to charging more to these groups and have simply said “we’ll stop being total d*cks now.”

    And why? Because they figure if new laws require people to buy insurance then their customer bases go way up and they can spread the risk better and not have to charge the sick and the female more.

    Of course THIS is the exact reason why SINGLE PAYER insurance is the real solution! If the risk pool is the entirety of the United States population, then prices drop for EVERYONE and we all get better and more care because it would be not for profit.

    This altruism (which as pointed out is unenforceable) is all an effort to quell the move towards Single Payer but in the end makes the best argument for it.

  2. This is sickening. We all know that the HMOs and insurance companies will take the cuts out of the hides of patients, many of whom will have potentially deadly illnesses. That’s how they operate.

    This is why we need single payer healthcare now. We need to put those scumbags out of business permanently.

  3. TCB –

    You and I both know folks who practice in Canada. Are they poorly trained? When you look at cohorts of patients, do the patients do worse in Canada or Great Britain?

  4. THE HEALTH INSURANCE INDUSTRY HAS TAKEN BACK THEIR ‘PROMISE’ TO CONTROL COSTS. It would affect their profits. . .

    Read about it here: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/15/health/policy/15health.html?_r=2&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

    It’s what we’ve known all along: we can’t trust the insurance industry with health care reform.

    Only a single-payer approach to healthcare reform will end the inhumanity of our failed healthcare insurance system, where profits are more important than patients’ health, and where people die because of it.

    Our fight for equal access to healthcare for all is about democracy, human rights, civil rights, and basic human decency.

  5. THE LATEST FIGURES:

    The health insurance companies have played a major role in our current healthcare crisis. They make huge profits and their CEOs make millions, while the rest of us are are subject to life-threatening insurance denials. The CEOs continue to make outrageous salaries, money that could provide healthcare for Americans.

    The Total Package: Health plan CEO compensation for 2008
    May 14, 2009

    Despite the trials and tribulations of the past year, the health insurance executives are still raking in MILLIONS of dollars at the end of the day. This is a look at some of the top total compensation packages from 2008 based on information gathered from the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission.

    1. Ron Williams, Aetna – $24.3 million

    2. H. Edward Hanway, CIGNA – $12.2 million

    3. Angela Braly, WellPoint – $9.8 million

    4. Dale Wolf, Coventry Health Care – $9 million

    5. Michael Neidorff, Centene – $8.8 million

    6. James Carlson, AMERIGROUP – $5.3 million

    7. Michael McCallister, Humana – $4.8 million

    8. Jay Gellert, Health Net – $4.4 million

    9. Richard Barasch, Universal American – $3.5 million

    10. Stephen Hemsley, UnitedHealth Group – $3.2 million

    – adapted from a Special Report by Dan Bowman
    http://www.fiercehealthcare.com/special-reports/total-package-health-plan-ceo-compensations-2008

  6. A new study shows that SINGLE-PAYER HEALTHCARE REFORM WOULD BE A MAJOR STIMULUS FOR THE US ECONOMY and would provide:

    ** 2.6 Million New Jobs,
    ** $317 Billion in Business Revenue,
    ** $100 Billion in Wages, and
    ** $44 Billion New Tax Revenues

    The press release is here: http://www.calnurses.org/media-center/press-releases/2009/january/nurses-to-congress-expanding-medicare-could-reverse-job-losses-and-repair-our-broken-healthcare-system-and-safety-net.html

    Here’s the study: http://www.calnurses.org/research/pdfs/ihsp_sp_economic_study_2009.pdf

    It’s clear that single-payer is the solution, not only in terms of providing quality care for all, but also economically!

    WHY ISN’T SINGLE-PAYER ON THE TABLE?

  7. I have been waffling on a single payer. More and more, I see that is the way to go but I don’t know how to keep politics out of medicine with a single payer. Politics clouds everything these days. There was a time that you could get something done in Washington without everyone taking sides. Now, everything is a tug-of-war.

    Thanks for the comment

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Errington C. Thompson, MD

Dr. Thompson is a surgeon, scholar, full-time sports fan and part-time political activist. He is active in a number of community projects and initiatives. Through medicine, he strives to improve the physical health of all he treats.

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