Healthcare industry groups generally agreed with President Barack Obama that the status quo on the current healthcare system was not sustainable, but offered differing views on how the system should be fixed.
Insurance regulation was a chief focus of the president's speech on Wednesday night. Obama said that a government-run public option would be a way to get insurers to lower costs. In a written statement, Karen Ignagni, president and CEO of America's Health Insurance Plans, reiterated the organization's longtime position that a public plan was not the solution to improving coverage. “New health insurance reforms and consumer protections will solve the problem without creating a new government-run plan that will disrupt the quality coverage that millions of Americans rely on today,” she said.
“America's hospitals stand ready to do our part to extend coverage to more Americans and to continually strive towards providing high-quality care for patients that is more efficient and affordable,” said Richard Umbdenstock, president and CEO of the American Hospital Association, in a written statement. The AHA continues to have concerns on how a public plan would be constructed, but is “glad to see that President Obama is open to exploring other ideas that would help us achieve our shared goal of universal coverage.” -- Jennifer Lubell