Sunday, May 10, 2009

I'm not holding my breath

Tonight I saw this article in the top headlines on Google:

Health Groups Vow Cost Control

Supposedly, these health groups have promised President Obama that they'll cut back on the rapidly rising cost of health care in the United States. But you won't catch me holding my breath.

From the article:

Despite such heady predictions, many aspects of the plan remain unclear. The groups did not spell out yesterday how they plan to reach such a target, and in a letter to Obama they offer only a broad pledge, not an outright commitment.

In addition, White House officials said, there is no mechanism to ensure that the groups live up to their offer, only the implicit threat of public embarrassment. And it would be difficult to track whether they come up with the promised savings, other than the imprecise measure of comparing current projections of health-care cost increases with future actual costs.

Nonetheless, White House officials were optimistic about the offer from industry officials, who previously tried to put up obstacles to health-care reform.

Honestly, I think the change of heart (so to speak) these health groups are showing now is inspired only by the very real threat of government involvement under Obama. Besides the acknowledged problems with this promise, I can't help but be skeptical that our greedy health care industry will ever really change unless it is forced to with government-regulated reform.

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