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"New Public Healthcare"

"Health insurance reform is not a luxury that can be postponed, but a necessity that cannot wait... Barack Obama (5/09)."

President Barack Obama says "the health care industry's promise to cut $2 trillion in costs over 10 years as 'a watershed event' in the long search for a solution to the millions of uninsured." The president continues, "I will not rest until the dream of health care reform is achieved in the United States of America," Obama spoke at the White House's State Dining Room and announced the voluntary offer made to the White House Monday by a consortium of hospitals, insurance companies, drug makers and doctors.

That health consortium told the President, that they would slow rate increases by 1.5 percentage points a year by "improving coordination, focusing on efficiency and embracing better technology and regulatory reform." Government economists say the shaved costs would create breathing room to help provide health insurance to an estimated 50 million Americans who now do not have it.

Health insurance broker, Morgan Moran said, "It's a substantial change from the time in the early 1990s when President Bill Clinton took on health care reform, only to see industry leaders fight back hard, ultimately killing the White House proposal before it could gain any traction; this time the industry seems to be playing ball." Obama believes this may lead toward universal health care coverage for all Americans. He said the country "can, will and must" accomplish this goal by the end of the year.

While speaking about health insurance, Obama indirectly criticized some of the consortium groups at his side for killing the effort last time around. The president reminded the crowd, "All too often, efforts at reform have fallen victim to special interest lobbying aimed at keeping things the way they are, to political point-scoring that sees health care not as a moral issue or an economic issue, but as a wedge issue, and to a failure on all sides to come together on behalf of the American people," the president said.

Florida health insurance broker, Morgan Moran believes the offer from the industry groups "does not resolve the tough details of the new health care system, but it does offer the prospect of freeing a large chunk of money to help pay for coverage." And it puts the private-sector groups in a good position to influence the bill Congress is writing.

Moran said, "The health industry groups are trying to get on Obama's bandwagon for expanded health coverage now in the hope they can steer Congress away from legislation that would restrict their profitability in future years.


Behind closed doors, insurance companies say they "want to avoid the creation of a government health plan that would directly compete with them and enroll middle-class workers and their families." The drug makers are worried because in the future, new medications might have to pass a cost-benefit test before they can win approval. And hospitals and doctors are concerned the government could dictate how much they get paid to care for any patient, not only the elderly and the poor.

The estimated federal costs for the Obama health insurance plan range from $1.2 trillion to $1.5 trillion over 10 years, and so far Obama has only spelled out how to get about half of that. More -- Española

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