Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Live-blogging Steny Hoyer at the Federation of American Hospitals Meeting

I'm attending the Federation meeting in Washington, D.C., and Congressman Hoyer is addressing the attendees in a plenary session.  He begins by referring to past reform efforts (Nixon's, Carter's,  and Clinton's) would have reduced costs, and that the longer we wait to enact reform the worse costs will get.

Some of his comments:

*One American is bankrupted by healthcare bills every 30 seconds.  I wonder if this is true, but there's no doubt we have a huge cost problem.   Does Obamacare really address costs effectively?

*He shares an anecdote about a family devastated by a cancer battle and insurance gap.

*"The issue is far too urgent to start over."

*"58% of Americans say they would be disappointed and angry if we start over."  I feel a need to do some fisking of that statement.

*"It is a centrist healthcare reform plan."  Wow.  Clearly a talking point that the Democrats want out there.

*"We have exposed our bill to unprecedented public scrutiny."  Another talking point that raises eyebrows.

*"It is not a government takeover.  . . . It is much like the Federal Employee Health Benefit Plan."  Really?  I don't see any of the consumer choice that the FEHBP offers to members of Congress.

The audience of health care executives and managers did not have a single question after Rep. Hoyer's 10-minute speech.

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