FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
The health insurance, drug and hospital industries are promising they can save $2 trillion over the next 10 years to reduce the cost of health care for millions of Americans. Some steps they will take include: Cutting excess administrative costs, making sure patients take the proper medicine, and greater collaboration among providers.
President Obama calls this agreement to work toward affordable and high-quality health care a watershed event; and some experts say it's unprecedented that the president has been able to keep these interest groups at the table. Especially when you consider some of these groups are the very ones that derailed previous attempts at reform.
One health economist who worked on Clinton's failed attempt tells the Los Angeles Times that things are different this time. He says in the 1990s, the mood was negative and skeptical; whereas now there's a real sense of momentum and people don't want to give up.
But some people are not convinced about the commitment of these industries. They say the groups aren't offering enough details on how they will contain rising health care expenses.
Others aren't sure how long the cooperation will last once the president and Congress start asking specific groups to make specific cuts. So far this is all voluntary and there is nothing binding on any of these groups to force any sort of compliance.
In fact, the skeptics think that some industry leaders are only staying at the table... because they're afraid if they leave, lawmakers will punish them.
Here’s my question to you: How much do you trust health care groups to voluntarily save $2 trillion over the next decade?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Scott from Dallas writes:
I trust the health care groups to act in the best interests of the health care groups. They want a seat at the reform table only to make sure their racket doesn't get too heavily tampered with. Trust is not a word I would use in conjunction with big pharma, health organizations, and insurance companies.
They have no choice. The Obama administration has them in a chokehold. They will cough-up or they will be run-over. It is that simple.
No way. It was self-serving, profit-making corporations that caused Enron, the financial mess we're in now, robbing us of our 401ks, out-of-control health care costs, and fraud and theft of funds as war profiteers. Now we can trust corporations? No way.
It can easily be done, by shifting to HEALTH care rather than SICK care, which is our current standard. If we focused on preventative care and medicine, it would be easy to project a $200 billion/year reduction in costs. However, that's going to take sacrificing some things like political correctness. If a person is fat, his HMO should be able to tell him that, and give him a financial incentive to lose weight.
Trust is earned. I work in a hospital where for every bed there is an administrator, but there is one nurse for every 8 patients. They have a long way to go.
Steve from Sun City Center, Florida writes:
They can. The question is: Will they? After I shook the hand of any health care executive, I'd count my fingers.