Issue Date: May 18, 2009
Drug Industry Offers Health Care Savings
A coalition of medical industry trade groups convened at the White House last week and pledged to save Americans at least $2 trillion in health care spending over the next decade. Drugmakers, hospitals, insurance companies, and doctors hope that voluntary cuts will negate the need for government mandates if President Barack Obama succeeds in pushing universal health care legislation through Congress. "It is critical for all Americans to have access to high-quality, affordable health care coverage and services," said Billy Tauzin, president of the Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America, which represents the brand-name drug industry. The $2 trillion in savings would be achieved by reducing the projected increase in health care costs by 1.5% each year for 10 years. The groups did not detail how they plan to reach such a target, and in a letter to Obama they offer only a broad pledge. The drug industry wants to help shape legislation that would expand health care coverage to the estimated 50 million Americans who now lack insurance and a prescription drug benefit.
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