Monday, June 15, 2009

"To say it as plainly as I can, health care reform is the single most important thing we can do for America's long-term fiscal health. That is a fact." - President Barack Obama in his speech before the American Medical Association

"Each time an uninsured American steps foot into an emergency room with no way to reimburse the hospital for care, the cost is handed over to every American family as a bill of about $1,000 that is reflected in higher taxes, higher premiums, and higher health care costs; a hidden tax that will be cut as we insure all Americans. And as we insure every young and healthy American, it will spread out risk for insurance companies, further reducing costs for everyone. ...

... But alongside these economic arguments, there is another, more powerful one. It is simply this: We are not a nation that accepts nearly 46 million uninsured men, women, and children. We are not a nation that lets hardworking families go without the coverage they deserve; or turns its back on those in need. We are a nation that cares for its citizens. We are a people who look out for one another. That is what makes this the United States of America."
- President Barack Obama in his speech before the American Medical Association

Obama's audience reacted positively to this line:

"Insurance companies have expressed support for the idea of covering the uninsured – and I welcome their willingness to engage constructively in the reform debate. But what I refuse to do is simply create a system where insurance companies have more customers on Uncle Sam's dime, but still fail to meet their responsibilities. That is why we need to end the practice of denying coverage on the basis of preexisting conditions. The days of cherry-picking who to cover and who to deny – those days are over."

Pretty good speech.

Where he sees saving costs?

generic as opposed to brand-name drugs

changes in Medicare fund reimbursements so that payment is tied to quality care so
fewer stays requiring reimbursement

focus on preventive care so fewer hospital stays

electronic medical records to reduce paperwork

competitive bidding in Medicare Advantage

reducing hospital funding as more people are covered for insurance

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