Meeting with more than a dozen lobbying groups that have at times been largely absent from the healthcare reform debates, President Barack Obama hailed a new partnership with providers, payers and others needed to overhaul the U.S. healthcare system.
The meeting comes as the American Hospital Association, the American Medical Association, Americas Health Insurance Plans, the Service Employees International Union and others pledged to adopt measures that would shave roughly $2 trillion in healthcare costs over 10 years.
Obama hailed the agreement as potentially groundbreaking. This is a historic day, a watershed event in the long and elusive quest for healthcare reform, he said.
The crux of the plan is to merge more streamlined care and a focus on quality and efficiency with common sense improvements. One tenet urges the better coordination of care and adherence to evidence-based best practices. Another calls for better use of health information technology. The groups have wagered that such changes can greatly cut how much is spent each year on healthcare. Their projections show that five years out, a family of four should see a $2,400 reduction in annual healthcare costs, and 10 years from now, overall national healthcare expenditures could be reduced by 3%.