Health care reform plan to save trillions

Jeremy Hobson May 11, 2009
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Health care reform plan to save trillions

Jeremy Hobson May 11, 2009
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President Obama will be joined by health care industry leaders this afternoon. All part of the debate over reform that the president promised during his run for the White House. And in using the term health care, I’m talking about insurance companies and hospitals, drug makers and doctors.

They’ll be announcing a plan to reduce yearly health care spending increases. Doesn’t sound like much, but it could amount to a couple trillion dollars over the next decade. Here’s Marketplace’s Jeremy Hobson.


JEREMY HOBSON: Industry groups are pledging to do things like cut paperwork and change the way hospitals bill patients, which they say could cut the rate of health care spending growth by a percent and a half.

Today’s event will allow the president to show he’s got the industry on board for more comprehensive health care reform.
The 1.5 percent annual savings would still leave health care spending growing at a rate of 7 percent a year. But small savings can add up to a lot for taxpayers, especially when it comes to Medicare, which provides government subsidized health care for older Americans.

President Obama is expected to ask Congress for a major health care overhaul this year, possibly one that creates a government-run health care plan. When that happens, it’s going to be all about how it gets paid for. And today’s announcement may give the administration a head start on that front.

In New York, I’m Jeremy Hobson for Marketplace.

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