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Monday, July 06, 2009

White House, Hospitals Near Deal For $150 Billion In Cost Savings

Published: July 6, 2009
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration and major hospital associations on Monday evening were nearing a deal for about $150 billion in cost savings to help pay for an overhaul of the nation’s health care system, with an announcement expected at the White House as early as Wednesday, officials said.
If an agreement is finalized, it would be the latest step in an on-going effort by the White House to win concessions from major health industry groups to help pay for legislation aimed at providing health insurance to all Americans. Democrats are hoping to keep the cost of the overhaul at about $1 trillion over 10 years.
Earlier this month, the White House announced a “historic agreement to lower drug costs” and the lobby for drug companies, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, or PhRMA, said it had pledged $80 billion over 10 years to help Democrats in the efforts to improve the health care system.
In addition to controlling costs and helping Mr. Obama achieve his goal of providing coverage to more than 40 million uninsured Americans, the administration’s tentative agreements with drug companies and providers, including hospitals and doctors, are also intended to bring pressure on the private health insurance industry.
Private insurers may have the most to lose as lawmakers in the House and Senate debate the possibility of creating a new government-run insurance program to compete with private firms and help slow the steep growth in medical spending. LinkHere


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