Report: Health Care Leaders Dispute Obama's Description of Cost-Cutting Pledge
President Obama said Monday that six major health care organizations pledged to "cut the rate of growth of national health care spending by 1.5 percentage points each year, but three days later those organizations said they never committed to specific annual cuts and that the president's description of their promises has their members up in arms.
Friday, May 15, 2009
President Obama touted cost-cutting proposals made by health industry leaders as "historic" earlier in the week but insurance companies and hospitals reportedly now say he considerably overstated their promises to reduce spending.
The president said Monday that six major health care organizations had pledged to "cut the rate of growth of national health care spending by 1.5 percentage points each year -- an amount that's equal to over $2 trillion."
But three days later, The New York Times reported that those organizations said they never committed to specific annual cuts, just to cut spending gradually, and that the president's description has their members up in arms.
"There's been a lot of misunderstanding that has caused a lot of consternation among our members," said American Hospital Association President Richard J. Umbdenstock told the Times. "I've spent the better part of the last three days trying to deal with it."
According to the Times, White House Office of Health Reform Director Nancy-Ann DeParle first said "the president misspoke" but later retracted that statement saying, "His remarks correctly and accurately described the industry's commitment."
Click here to read more on this story from The New York Times.