With industry health care reform deals piling up, what does it all mean when it comes to financing health reform and getting to the finish line?
Hospitals became the latest health care industry this week to commit to health reform savings, joining the pharmaceutical and insurance industries in stepping forward with voluntary concessions. Vice President Joe Biden said hospitals would contribute $155 billion over 10 years in Medicare and Medicaid savings. According to a White House statement, "Hospitals have acknowledged that significant health care savings can be achieved by improving efficiencies, realigning incentives to emphasize quality care instead of quantity of procedures."
Does this mean that sufficient savings really are attainable for health reform? Are these industries truly giving up something, or are they "voluntarily" giving up what they are about to lose anyway, in exchange for more business if everyone gets insurance? Do these deals mean that there is excess in these industries that needs to be cut? Should more come from them?