Biden: Hospitals Agreed to Lower Costs by $155B

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biden1.jpgVice President Joe Biden on Wednesday annnounced that hospitals have agreed to contribute $155 billion in Medicare and Medicaid savings over the next 10 years through reductions in their annual and inflationary payment increases, as well as delivery system reforms.

“We have tried for decades to fix a broken system… and we have never been this close,” Biden said from the White House, with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and representatives of the hospital industry by his side. “We have these hospitals working with us, and we have the pharmaceutical (industry) working with us… we have the American public with us.”

Hospitals stand to gain from the president’s reform agenda, Biden said, given that one of the primary goals is to provide universal coverage.

“Our hospitals are cracking under the weight of providing quality health care for Americans who lack insurance,” he said.

The deal was worked out under the guidance of Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), who is leading health care reform efforts in the Senate Finance Committee. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) just yesterday rebuffed Baucus’ efforts to create a bipartisan health care reform package.

Biden was late in making his announcement about the hospital agreement because he was meeting with Reid and Baucus, the vice president said. Baucus was slated to be with Biden for the announcement but instead had to return to Capitol Hill for a floor vote.

The Obama administration has already won a commitment from the pharmaceutical industry to cut the cost of prescription drugs for seniors through Medicare.

(Source: CBS News)

4 COMMENTS

  1. Hospitals are also cracking and have cracked under the weight of having you and me pay for the medical of people who did not get permission to be here and are not paying into the system.

    It’s asking a lot for us working Americans to provide for our own coverage and pay premiums to cover the costs of those who are not Americans and who circumvented the rules and procedures that other immigrants are required to follow.

    (That was a rather windy way to say the Mexicans are doing more damager to core elements of society, than they are doing work young Americans used to do)

  2. How about we tell the illegals when they come to the hospital to go away and DROP DEAD!

    This whole “lack of insurance” is a fallacy. Of the 45 million or so, half are illegal, the rest cant afford it or don’t WANT health insurance. Interestingly the ones who cant afford it, would qualify for medicaid so there is no reason for them not to be “insured.”

  3. 1. This is basically a “kicback” since part of the deal is that they will be getting new business from people now uninsured. Cut rates and go for volume (sounds like a lot of frum businesses).

    2. There is also no guarantee that “elite” hospitals will accept lower payment, rather than refer poorer patients to lower quality hospitals.

    3. Many frum Jews use Medicaid (not so much Medicare–we tend have have a young community), especially young women and children – and reduced
    medicaid payments will impact negatively on them.

    P.S. Mark(#2)- a large percentage of the uninsured are employees of small companies, or self-employed, and frum Jews tend to be in that demographics since most private companies don’t like to hire Shomer Shabbos people in general, and also discriminate against groups that tend to have large families. And even if they uninsured were mainly “illegal” aliens, given that “illegal” tend to pay taxes (but can’t claim refunds), and that their children are not illegals, and you should remember that under current laws, most of our ancestors would have been illegal as well. If you visit any large frum community, you will encounter many Jews from overseas who are in fact “illegal” under current law (typically arriving on a tourist or student visa, and not leaving when it expries). You should also review the immigration laws in the Four Cities that Avraham Aveinu dealt with (very similar to American law as it is today, very unlike the traditional American policies from the Lazarus or Reagan)