Video and text from the White House
Tuesday the President hosted a meeting that marked one of the most promising signs for health reform to date, and not only because the topic was saving more than $2 trillion on health care costs. Representatives from hospitals, the insurance industry, medical device and pharmaceutical companies, labor and physicians came to the White House to discuss major steps being taken to lower health care costs across the board.
The President explained the significance of having so many diverse stakeholders at the table:
And that’s what makes today’s meeting so remarkable — because it’s a meeting that might not have been held just a few years ago. The groups who are here today represent different constituencies with different sets of interests. They’ve not always seen eye to eye with each other or with our government on what needs to be done to reform health care in this country. In fact, some of these groups were among the strongest critics of past plans for comprehensive reform.
But what’s brought us all together today is a recognition that we can’t continue down the same dangerous road we’ve been traveling for so many years; that costs are out of control; and that reform is not a luxury that can be postponed, but a necessity that cannot wait. It’s a recognition that the fictional television couple, Harry and Louise, who became the iconic faces of those who opposed health care reform in the ’90s, desperately need health care reform in 2009. And so does America.
In short, the coalition has agreed to reduce the annual health care spending growth rate by 1.5 percentage points for the next 10 years, a change that could result in savings of roughly $2,500 for American families.