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Kaine Lauds President Obama's Agreement With Health Care Industry Groups to Reduce Health Care Costs
Date:5/11/2009

Historic Deal Would Save $2 Trillion in Health Care Costs Over Next Ten Years, Provides Significant Momentum to Passing Health Care Reform in Congress This Year

WASHINGTON, May 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, key stakeholders in health care reform joined President Obama at the White House to announce their commitment to achieving a sharp reduction in the nation's health care costs. Their plans to prioritize preventive care, manage chronic illnesses, curtail unnecessary tests and procedures, standardize insurance claim forms and use electronic medical records could save the nation 1.5 percent a year, or $2 trillion over the next 10 years.

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Six health care industry groups including executives of the Advanced Medical Technology Association, a lobby for medical device manufacturers; the American Hospital Association; the American Medical Association; the America's Health Insurance Plans, a trade group for insurers; the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America; and the Service Employees International Union met with the President today and presented him a letter pledging to pursue efforts like those outlined above to make significant costs savings in the health care system over the next ten years. These groups represent a "strange bedfellows" coalition of competing interests which have concluded that health care costs are rising at an unsustainable rate and must be curtailed.

DNC Chairman Tim Kaine issued the following statement after the announcement at the White House and called on Members of Congress, Democrats and Republicans, to get behind broader health care reform this year:

"Health care industry leaders joined President Obama today to announce their commitment to working with the Administration to sharply reduce national health care spending. By 2014, a family of four could save $2,500 a year. That's a big difference for America's working families who are struggling to make ends meet.

"The President's announcement today with these 'strange bedfellows' is nothing short of historic and will provide the momentum we need to get broader health care reform passed by Congress this year. Skyrocketing health care costs are one of the biggest burdens on America's families. Since 2000, health insurance premiums have almost doubled and health care premiums have grown three times faster than wages. Rising costs are crippling businesses and too many people delay or skip medical care all together because it's too expensive. Reforming health care is the key to restoring financial stability and securing our fiscal future.

"We have a long way to go to reform our health care system, but today's announcement is an important step toward comprehensive reform. And it shows President Obama's ability to bring people together and provide the leadership we need to make health care reform a reality.

"The Democratic Party looks forward to working with President Obama and our Congressional leaders to harness the growing momentum for reform and chart a course toward a patient-centered health care system that reduces costs, preserves individual choice and assures quality affordable care for every American. As the President has said time and time again, reform is not a luxury that can be postponed, but a necessity that cannot wait."


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SOURCE Democratic National Committee
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