May 11th, 2009 – On Sunday leaders of a coalition of hospitals, doctors, insurers and drug firms met and offered $2 trillion in slowed rate increases to help pay for health care reform and to help free up funds to help cover the uninsured. One official said it could save a family of four $2500 by the program’s 5th year.
President Obama responded by saying, “These groups are voluntarily coming together to make an unprecedented commitment. Over the next 10 years, from 2010 to 2019, they are pledging to cut the growth rate of national health care spending by 1.5 percentage points each year — an amount that’s equal to over $2 trillion.”
The health insurance industry previously offered guarantee issue coverage, regardless of pre-existing conditions in conjunction for an enforceable government mandate that all Americans have health insurance coverage. The health insurance coverage mandate would alllow people to get health insurance through individual and employer sponsored health insurance, as well as public programs for lower income Americans.
President’s Obama’s plan envisions that people would be able to keep the coverage they have and would build on the current system, in which employers, government and individuals share responsibility for paying the cost and care is delivered privately.
Subsidies and/or increased access to public programs would be provided to lower income Americans. The details are being worked out by Congress and may be completed in 2009.