Hospitals and insurance companies said Thursday that President Obama had substantially overstated their promise earlier this week to reduce the growth of health spending.
Mr. Obama invited health industry leaders to the White House on
Monday to trumpet their cost-control commitments. But three days later,
confusion swirled in Washington as the companies’ trade associations
raced to tamp down angst among members around the country.
After meeting with six major health care organizations, Mr. Obama hailed their cost-cutting promise as historic.
groups are voluntarily coming together to make an unprecedented
commitment,” Mr. Obama said. “Over the next 10 years, from 2010 to
2019, they are pledging to cut the rate of growth of national health
care spending by 1.5 percentage points each year — an amount that’s
equal to over $2 trillion.”
Health care leaders who attended the
meeting have a different interpretation. They say they agreed to slow
health spending in a more gradual way and did not pledge specific