OTHER VOICES

Modern Healthcare - - OPINIONS EDITORIALS -

“A re­port from a panel of prom­i­nent health­care ex­perts iden­ti­fies about $750 bil­lion in an­nual sav­ings the group claims could be achieved by ad­just­ing cur­rent prac­tices. The im­pli­ca­tion is that root­ing out waste and fraud in a bloated sys­tem could mean deep cuts in the na­tion’s health­care bill are pos­si­ble with­out ra­tioning and with bet­ter qual­ity health­care. The In­sti­tute of Medicine re­port claims the health­care sys­tem squan­ders about 30 cents of ev­ery med­i­cal dol­lar. … Rec­om­men­da­tions in­clude pay­ment re­forms to re­ward qual­ity re­sults in­stead of re­im­burs­ing for each pro­ce­dure; im­prov­ing co­or­di­na­tion among providers; lever­ag­ing tech­nol­ogy to re­in­force sound clin­i­cal de­ci­sions; and ed­u­cat­ing pa­tients to be­come more savvy con­sumers. The re­forms will re­quire ac­tion by all. For em­ploy­ers that could mean start­ing to de­mand more ac­count­abil­ity from providers and per­haps from their em­ploy­ees ... for doc­tors, it could mean more col­lab­o­ra­tion with peers; and for con­sumers, it might mean ex­pect­ing to hear the word ‘no’ more of­ten to their de­mands for tests and ser­vices. Of course, the sys­tem needs to root out waste wher­ever it oc­curs … But it won’t be easy for Amer­i­cans who like to have what they want when they want it.”

—Al­bu­querque Jour­nal

“Mitt Rom­ney, who was for health­care re­form be­fore he was against it, now sounds like he’s for it again. Or maybe not. The Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee said … he would keep key pro­vi­sions of ... the re­form law he vows to re­peal. Then a Rom­ney aide said that wasn’t ex­actly right. In any event, this clumsy pivot to­ward the gen­eral elec­tion … un­der­scores the pop­u­lar­ity of some por­tions of … re­form and the fool­ish­ness of Rom­ney’s un­qual­i­fied pledge to kill it. … Rom­ney said that he would keep some pro­vi­sions of the Af­ford­able Care Act af­ter he per­suades Congress to re­peal it. ‘I’m not get­ting rid of all of health­care re­form,’ Rom­ney said. ‘There are a num­ber of things that I like in health­care re­form that I’m go­ing to put in place. One is to make sure that those with pre-ex­ist­ing con­di­tions can get cov­er­age. Two is to as­sure that the mar­ket­place al­lows for in­di­vid­u­als to have poli­cies that cover their fam­ily up to what­ever age they might like. I also want in­di­vid­u­als to be able to buy … health in­sur­ance, on their own as op­posed to only be­ing able to get it on a tax-ad­van­tage ba­sis through their com­pany.’ Funny, those con­ces­sions weren’t men­tioned dur­ing the Repub­li­can con­ven­tion, where Oba­macare was a dirty word.”

—Tampa Bay Times (Fla.)

“The re­forms will re­quire ac­tion by all”

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