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Obama Healthcare Plan Will Save Trillions

From a happily bamboozled Reuters:

Obama says health overhaul could save trillions

By Caren Bohan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A coalition of U.S. healthcare groups pledged on Monday to help President Barack Obama rein in the growth in costs and save about $2 trillion over the next decade, a step the administration hopes will build support to reform the system this year…

Obama invited several large trade groups, including the American Medical Association, America’s Health Insurance Plans and the American Hospital Association, to discuss wringing savings from the health system.

"We will do our part to achieve your administration’s goal of decreasing by 1.5 percentage points the annual healthcare spending growth rate — saving $2 trillion or more," the groups said in a letter to Obama released by the White House…

The cost savings would be achieved through steps such as streamlining paperwork and changing the way hospitals deliver and bill for services to patients

The administration also planned to propose changes to the estate tax laws on Monday to raise nearly $60 billion over 10 years that will be used to beef up a reserve fund Obama has set aside for healthcare reform, an official said…

Obama’s proposal would establish a new government health insurance plan to compete with private insurers. The administration says that would help cut costs by introducing competition and covering the uninsured

Improving efficiency is one of the least controversial aspects of the Obama plan. The government would see savings if the efficiencies lower costs in the huge Medicare system, an existing program for older Americans.

The United States has one of the world’s most expensive healthcare systems, despite the high number of uninsured. Studies show it lags other developed nations on indicators of healthcare quality, including life expectancy and infant mortality.

Some ideas to be highlighted at Monday’s White House event would require legislation. Lawmakers are already considering basing payments to doctors and hospitals on the quality of care given, not just the number of procedures and treatments.

Honest Obe strikes again.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, May 11th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

46 Responses to “Obama Healthcare Plan Will Save Trillions”

  1. curvyred says:

    Every industry the govenment has been involved in has been to its detriment.

    One of the main reason why insurance and health care is in the state it is in is because of the push for HMO/MANAGED care during the 1990’s.

    So they are going to ramp up estate taxes – so even after our own demise we shall continue to pay for all these debts that we had no choice in making.

    Many people work in the medical billing industry – and most of them are already electronically based – so once again something that is already done.

    • wstuga says:

      CurvyRed your dead on why healthcare in America is in the state it is in. Back in 1992 current sec of state Clinton wanted to reform healthcare. And she did. Doctors make the same or less than they did before, yet patients cost have sky rocketed. Where did all the money go? Into the hands of these HMO/managed care companies that Hillary and company wanted to manage healthcare. If one was to look at a HMOs bottom line, the public would be outraged. But our less than conservative leaders don’t point out that the democrat’s greatest hero, until now, Bill and Hillary drove healthcare into the dirt. Worse than that, these companies made denials for services standard practice, as well as telling patients what doctor they can see and what doctor they can’t. This whole practice is a disgrace, and for some reason conservatives take the blame even though it was the liberals who did it. I shudder to think what will happen to healthcare now the dumb one once to change things again. Mark my words. Govt healthcare, esp. when it becomes more dominate as people drop private insurance to go with “free” coverage from the govt will pay for less and less services. Just look at our neighbors to the north or across the pond. This type of service works great for those with a cold or other simple medical problems. Let me give you this example. A pt comes in for stomach pain. Under these great medical systems there is a protocol the MD follow to handle each case. They are designed to handle the most common cause of stomach pain, the dreaded gastroenteritis. Some basic labs and phenergan (anti nausea medicine) for nausea, and out the door. This is great for the basic viral N/V and diarrhea. But what if the pt has a small bowel obstruction (not uncommon) or Inflammatory bowel disease like Chron’s or ulcerative colitis (rarer, but not uncommon). These pt suffer because the health care plan doesn’t cover a doctor’s experience and knowledge that say pt A has a stomach bug, but pt B is sicker and needs further work up. This is one of my basic problems with a govt run healthcare program. The more complicated the problem and the treatment the less the govt will pay for. Not to mention, when the benefits (you now, payment) of being a provider (i.e. doctor) diminishes, the provider decides to do less and less. Which is why wait times for imaging and surgery are so long in other countries. The great instant access to healthcare where answers are quickly provided because of the easy access to lab work, CT scan, MRI, etc will be gone. Pt, the same ones who demand the govt provide free healthcare, will be upset they the doctors won’t provide the services they want. Of course it won’t be the doctors fault, we will just take the blame, and Obama and company will give a great speech, teleprompter aided no doubt, about the greed and lack of hard work of physicians. Once gain diverting the blame for the problem from the people that should be responsible. Once again MARK MY WORDS no one will be happy with a govt run plan, except liberals who will proclaim to be the party of the people even though they made healthcare again worse for the people.

      Time to debunk non truths by the left. The left loves to proclaim that our healthcare outcomes are at the bottom of the industrialized world. This is true. They postulate that if everyone had free healthcare this would change. Why is this false? Maternal mortality rate and infant mortality rate ranks near the bottom of developed nations in the US. Obviously, if they pregnant women who worked so hard to get pregnant and be a drag on the system had free health care then these rates would improve. ALL pregnant women regardless of socioeconomic status qualify for Medicaid the moment they get pregnant. Under the liberals postulate, these women should have some of the best outcomes in the world. But they don’t even though they have free healthcare. Y’all it all comes down to personal responsibility. If a pregnant woman doesn’t take care of herself and doesn’t go to the MD things can go bad, and they do. Why do we have such bad heart disease? Have you seen the food we eat, the cigs we smoke, and the lack of exercise we get? I have to be honest with each of you. The health care in America is the best in the world, because it takes people that do horrible things to their body, and keeps them running. If we made better decisions about our bodies and our health, our healthcare outcomes would be fantastic. But asking people to make better choices to improve healthcare wouldn’t get people elected. Personal responsibility that made this a great country, is now no longer required.

      Electronic medical records. Liberal promised us they would save MD time and increase our income. EMR systems are more time consuming to use, and have not helped MDs bring in a single cent more. But they do cost like $100,000 plus monthly fees. Great plan!

      Rant over! Thanks for letting me vent!

    • proreason says:

      “The left loves to proclaim that our healthcare outcomes are at the bottom of the industrialized world.”

      It’s not true. And you say why late in your otherwise excellent post.

      Thomas Sowell explained it beautifully. It’s the difference between health care and medical care.

      We have the best medical care in the world, but we also have a lot of people who don’t take care of their health. They drink too much, smoke too much, eat too much, take too many drugs, engage in irresponsible sex too much, shoot each other too much, drive recklessly too much, etc. All of these behaviours drive medical costs up and health statistics down.

      When the costs of giving medical care to irresponsible people are added to the costs for responsible people, medical care looks to be 3 times as expensive as it really is. And the statistics are also much worse than if the irresponsible people were excluded. So it’s more of a cultural phenomenon that a medical care phenomemon.

      And there are many other factors as well that are unrelated to our superior medical systems and professionals. Medical costs are driven up by frivoulous lawsuits in many ways. Doctors prescribe expensive, unnecessary tests just to cover their asses. Insurance costs are built into the cost of every treatment as well.

      And since doctors salaries are now effectively capped, they open up “laboratories” where they make their real money.

      There are tons of systematic problems, none of which government will fix. In fact, the systematic problems will increase.

      The tragedy of this is that we have THE BEST medical care in the world, and “universal health care” will RUIN it, in addition to increasing the cost.

      (ps: more people will read what you have to say if you break up your thoughts into short paragraphs. We want to read quick thoughts, not tomes.)

  2. Liberals Demise says:

    Did he get the report this morning about the “state” of the “State”?

    I’ll sign on if he is ahead of me in line to see “OUR” doctor. Until then…see your witch doctor / Bones Shaker!!

  3. Reality Bytes says:

    Obamaboozled should be added to our lexicon for:

    1: The media’s acceptance as truth a Barack Obama political initiative. 2: The media’s attempt to pass said accepted truth onto the American public.

  4. Odie44 says:

    The audacity of this idiot is amazing. Plese tell me how electronic forms and billing, combined with covering the now uninsured is going to save $50 , no less “trillions?”

    Also – this dope may want to do some research to know , many tech companies (even their bitch GE Healthcare) are concerned with law suits for “bad software” concerning peoples lives.

    The tort scumbags running after the money are already in force, adding billions in “costs”

    If this mental minority midget wasn’t so f^%&ing dumb, I would actually laugh – but the “masses” are eating this shit sandwhich up – for reparations are in full force.

    • proreason says:

      Health Care administration savings has been the holy grail of IT for, oh, about 40 years.

      A wholesale national system never happened and never will.

      1. As you say, Odie, there ain’t trillions there. For anyone with even an eentsy tiny brain to think that the IT/administrative costs to provide medical care are more than a fraction of the costs of doctors, nurses, PTs and other practioners, research, education, facilities, medicine and medical equipment is utter lunacy.

      2. There are literally tens of thousands of systems and sub-systems that account for and manage health and health insurance costs. The effort to replace them would make the trivial effort of fixing the Y2K bugs look like the Sun compared to a grain of sand. Many businesses would literally be driven out of business in an effort to do so.

      3. The uncontrollable mess that would arise would cause tens of thousands of deaths in this country because the locial sub-systems would grind to a halt and care would inevitably be affected.

      The Cost would be trillions. The Savings would be millions.

      I’ll tell you where the “savings” will come from. And this is a sure thing.

      Savings will come from decreasing medical services, and rationing care. MILLIONS of lives will be affected by that. And hundreds of thousands of seniors will die before they would have under our current system.

      But even that won’t happen.

      What will happen is decreased service, rationing, AND higher costs.

      By the way, the data that shows our medical system lags other systems is bogus. Among a myriad of problems with the data that they don’t tell you about is that drug, alchoholism, violence and obesity related costs and deaths are counted as medical problems. They are not medical problems they are LIFESTYLE CHOICE problems.

      And don’t get me going on illegal aliens and medical care

    • Liberals Demise says:

      RIGHT ON!!

    • heykev says:

      Pro is there something wrong with ILLEGAL ALIENS getting free health care (sic). We are the most generous nation on this beautiful earth.

  5. Right of the People says:

    In my hand I have — “Oh look, there’s a squirrel!

    More slight of hand by the man behind the curtain tugging on Barry’s strings.

    • Liberals Demise says:

      My guess is that hand belongs to Soros and it is stuck up Barrys’ back side making him a butt puppet. No need for strings……..

    • DGA says:

      ……is stuck up Barrys’ back side making him a butt puppet.


  6. Confucius says:

    These people are stupid. Regarding the proposals,

    1. “streamlining paperwork” was a Clinton initiative that saved nothing. Compliance, however, cost the healthcare industry (and ultimately its patients) hundreds of millions of dollars.

    2. “changing the way hospitals deliver and bill for services to patients” were Clinton and Bush initiatives that also produced $0 in savings. And yes, compliance costs were once again shouldered by the healthcare industry and its patients.

    3. “new government health insurance plan to compete with private insurers” was done decades ago. It’s called Medicare and Medicaid. The only savings these programs have created have gone directly to their patients in the form of free healthcare. Meanwhile, everyone else got higher healthcare costs because someone had to pick up the tab.

    4. “basing payments to doctors and hospitals on the quality of care given” was a Bush initiative that has produced nothing but the costs of creating a tracking database.

    5. “improving efficiency” has never been been part of the government’s DNA. The fact that Obama and his study group spent so much time coming up with #1, #2, #3 and #4 proves it.

    • MinnesotaRush says:

      Now, now, Confucious. Just look at how efficient government so routinely, is.

      Take the stellar job they did with Social Security. Or maybe the money to GM and Chrysler (pre-bankruptcy cash). Or how about the stimulus plan – a masterpiece of “efficiency”. Or no .. how ’bout that new Visitor Center thing -the one that was 7 years late, MILLIONS over budget, and filled with incorrect history (but will avoid us tourists stinking up Harry Reid’s Congressional buildings). Or better yet, how ’bout the war on poverty .. or drugs???

      Well .. never mind. I’ll keep looking ’till I find something. I know it’s there .. o-blah-blah said so – “efficiency in government”. I’ll get back with ya’. :-)

  7. heykev says:

    So far BHO’s made a mess of the Banks, Wall Street, Auto Industry, our Armed Forces, etc. Now he plans on fully bankrupting this country by imposing Nationalized Healthcare.

    It’s too bad our watchdog media is a bunch of sycophants and will not do any investigative story on this man and his plans for America.

  8. Colonel1961 says:

    ‘Could’ save trillions. Per P.J. O’Rourke: it ‘could’ be Uma Thurman on the phone asking me to come over and give her a back massage. Of course, it ‘is’ the bank on the phone, telling me I’m overdrawn again. lol

    Yes, it could save trillions, but it won’t. It will cost lives and increase costs exponentially. Anyone who thinks otherwise is a world-class moron.

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      Texas vernacular has it:

      The three most useless phrases:


      They have absolutely no value.

    • proreason says:

      Uma, huma, huma, huma!

      I wonder if SHE would return emails.

    • Colonel1961 says:

      She doesn’t return mine…

    • heykev says:

      Pro ~ does this mean you’ve given up on Ms. Jolie returning your calls and email?

    • MinnesotaRush says:

      I’ll be sendin’ Ms Jolie on her way soon; but right after that, Urma will be coming so wait a few weeks for her on your e-mails.

  9. Media_man says:

    It’s amazing that the canard that the US will save H/C $ due to electronic billing is a testament to the corruption of the media. Nobody believes this will save any money at all, not even the people whose job it is to market electronic records keeping. It will make medicine more efficient through better access to patient info, but it won’t save any money.

    If socialized medicine is going to save any money, it will be through the one thing that it does well: brute rationing. But that’s just paying for it through less quality and access compared to the current system.

    I don’t really see how having every janitor & bed pan cleaner in every H/C facility belonging to a Federal Employee Union is going to save any money. If anything it will be 100 times worse.

  10. Franco says:

    He’d like us to think he’s Honest Obe, but Heinous Obe would be more to the point!

  11. MinnesotaRush says:

    Oh my gosh!!! Take another look at that photo in this piece. ‘member the halo shot? Now they’ve maneuvered so the photo shows Lincoln “overseeing” o-blah-blah.

    My gawd. These pretenders simply have no shame!

    Although, .. if I were to be havin’ a little fun wid dis .. I’d be drawin’ a thought bubble above Lincoln that said sumptin’ like .. “Hmmm .. what about that war!?!?” or “Maybe I’ll hold off for now on that proclamation thing ..”.

    Truth is .. it really ain’t too funny. I wonder sometimes, how much more disgust can we (collectively) harbor over this charade that is the MSM and o-blah-blah (et al).

  12. David says:

    Isn’t this a conflict of interests…

    The administration also planned to propose changes to the estate tax laws on Monday to raise nearly $60 billion over 10 years…

    I have a problem with a system to “keep people healthy” that is funded by taxes from their death.

    • U NO HOO says:

      I thought of that too. Ration care so we can get the estate tax to spend on something else that is socialist.

  13. pdsand says:

    Improving efficiency:

    It’s the age old class warfare problem with these people as always. They see rich people with their private doctors living to 110, and they go out in the suburbs and the hospital is clean, neat and orderly, and you can walk right in and get seen. The problem is of course they know that they can’t make that available for everyone, but at least they can take it away from the people who have it.
    Ergo efficiency: Not wasting a bunch of care on people who can afford it, while those who can’t have to wait in the ER to get 10 minutes with the latest Indian fellow to graduate from medical school. Of course no one will be any better off, but it’ll be efficient.

  14. VMAN says:

    I know ! I know! When we all receive our implants and can interface directly with the internet then doctors can diagnose any illness without the patient traveling to the health care facility. That should save bagillions (that even more then trillions). Another benefit is that we will all be content members of the hive. We will also save money on teleprompters because we can download words of wisdom from dear leader directly to out brains. You just wait it’ll be GREAT!!!!!!

    • VMAN says:

      Oh and because we won’t have to drive to and from the doctor it will reduce our carbon footprint.

  15. pdsand says:

    Of course we haven’t even mentioned that these “savings” are not reductions in the amount of money being spent on healthcare. That is still projected to increase. These are simply reduction in the projected amount/rate of the increase in spending. Just like the democrats favorite method of determining how much they are “reducing the deficit”.

  16. BigOil says:

    Saving trillions by streamlining billing practices? Maybe he has a point. The healthcare system will be free from the ballooning costs associated with the two cent per stamp price increases.

    Truth is the two largest potential cost savings are tort reform and sending the illegals packing. Since trial lawyers and illegals are both sacred cows of the Democrat Party, the cost side of the equation will remain intact.

  17. proreason says:

    The solution already exists to maake medical costs drop like a rock, and it’s so simple it could be enacted in 1 day, with no cost whatsoever.

    All you have to do is look at the two areas of medical practice where costs have gone down dramatically over the last 20 years……..laser eye surgery and plastic surgery.

    What is the closely held secret that has allowed costs in those areas to approximate the action in the decline of PC costs?

    Yep…………health insurance doesn’t cover them. So doctors and clinics that want to succeed do that evil, old-school U.S. thing…..they compete for customers.

    But hey, perish the thought of a free market in THIS country. We are far far beyond that kind of injustice.

    It wouldn’t give the TMCC any control over our lives.

    • Colonel1961 says:

      Well said, PR. I advocate abolishing all health insurance, or at least any that doesn’t have a $10k deductible, and let people start being healthcare consumers again and we’ll see the return of free-market conditions and far lower costs…

    • proreason says:

      I agree with you Colonel, and support high deductable insurance. $10K sounds about right. I don’t think that would have as dramatic an impact as no health insurance at all, but at least it would get us out of the mode of “an MRI for my scraped knuckle?….hey, why not 2 to be safe?”.

      I expect the price for routine physicals, doctor’s calls for the sniffles, mammograms, Xray’s, and all other routine medical procedures would come down very quickly. (btw, I think doc in the boxes are slowly making in-roads in the price of minor emergency care anyway.)

      I would have to think about it some more, but I might even be able to support some taxpayer funding for deductable assistance for the genuinely needy.

      And then there is the other fixable problem. Cap medical mal-practice awards to be at least marginally related to the damage done, and bust scumbag leeches like John Edwards by making them pay the defense’s expenses when the scumbags lose.

    • Colonel1961 says:

      Anecdotally, when my wife was born, her aunt was due to give birth to one of her cousins a few days later. She and her mother stayed in the hospital for five more days waiting on the cousin to be delivered – and then stayed two more days due to all the visitors! And the bill was only $50.00 +/- in 1962. Paid in cash. This would be about $500.00 in today’s dollars via CPI escalation. However, the cost of having a child in a hospital today is closer to $10,000.00 – a factor of twenty over CPI increases!

      Hey, hey, hi, ho, health insurance’s got to go!

  18. bill says:

    There are so many lost trillions floating around, we need to start tagging them.

    I know several doctors locally, they all say the same, the paperwork costs of dealing with the government means they won’t do it. So as I see it, the achillies heel here is who you gonna get for the doctor?

    Why not we just take the trillions in savings and forget the government run rationing of health care?

  19. Liberals Demise says:

    Why don’t we go back to “bleeding bad blood” and “leeching”. That will cut the cost big time!!

    • Liberals Demise says:

      Better yet …… why don’t we all die!!
      That’ll show ’em who is boss!!

  20. canary says:

    Prescriptions skyrocketed during Clinton, though Obama wrote Bush is at fault for raising health costs, especially prescriptions in 2003, when in reality, prescriptions lowered during Bush, do to capitalism of Walmart Pharmacy who started the 4 dollar precription plan, and other pharmacies started lowering their prices. A Walmart worker is telling me, along with haircut shops, and such, they are planning to have doctor offices in Walmarts. Shop while you wait, shop the pharmacy when the doctor gives the prescription, Someone told me Walmarts still gives full printouts with their prescriptions.
    It was Clinton that started the paper mess that burned out doctor’s and nurses, the mass production factory line of caring for patients that may save, but worse health care. The doctors and nurses spend so much time putting things in computers less, watching the patient. The computerizing monitering patients, particularily ICU, beeps, has caused a new problem called ICU dementia or as the VA call’s it ICU psychosis. I also read of regulation of capping medical proffessional’s pay. The shortage of people going into the medical field is already horrendous, so capping their pay, will take the incentitive away from the cost and long study to become a doctor.
    Of course Obama might start a new federal medical facility where LPN’s get their license in 6 weeks and perform certain things doctor’s are required to do.
    Course it was mighty white of Michello to take 65,000 for no show work, from a hospital. That money could have saved lives!
    Also, most insurance companies have already started doing more preventive care.

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