The healthcare bills in Congress don’t meet President Obama’s aim of cutting costs, according to many non-partisan experts and Democrats themselves.
Cost reductions have been a major focus of healthcare reform, but experts say the goal of lowering health costs by $2 trillion during the next 10 years is far from being met.
“My assessment at this point is that the legislation is heavy on health and light on reform,” Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., told The New York Times. He’s a member of the Senate Finance Committee.
Many experts agree that one of the major cost problems is that doctors are reimbursed for each visit and procedure performed, giving them incentive to provide unneeded care.
Denis Cortese, CEO of the prestigious Mayo Clinic, tells the Times that the bills provide only a start to change that system.
Experts also would like to see reductions in Medicare reimbursements for doctors and hospitals and stronger incentives for workers and employers to reject expensive health insurance plans that drive up costs.
Part of the problem is that the White House doesn’t want to lose support for the bills from doctors and hospitals that wouldn’t be happy to see their fees reduced.
Many in the health industry acknowledge the cost problem.
Rose Ann DeMoro, executive director of the California Nurses Association, writes in Counterpunch newsletter: “The (House) bill does not do nearly enough to control skyrocketing insurance, pharmaceutical, and hospital costs.”
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