Obama Pressures Health Care Industry To Follow Through

In an effort to get in the good graces of politicians responsible for health care reform, the health care industry yesterday promised it can significantly curb the growth of health care costs.

There is nothing, however, to hold the industry to its promise--a fact not lost on the White House.

So today, President Obama sent a letter (click here to view the letter) to the industry groups who committed to reducing the growth of costs, putting some personal pressure on the organizations to follow through on their word. The letter asks the organizations to update the administration by early June on the progress they have made toward fulfilling their commitment.

"As I said yesterday, health care reform will require all of us working together-- from drug insurance companies to labor unions and business executives, from doctors to hospitals and members of Congress," Mr. Obama said in the letter. "Getting spiraling health care costs under control is essential to providing all Americans with affordable, quality care, making our businesses more competitive, and closing our budget deficits -- so I will hold you to your pledge to get this done."

The letter was sent to the leaders of America's Health Insurance Plans, the Advanced Medical Technology Association, the American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association, the Service Employees International Union, and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. Those groups on Monday suggested it could find ways to reduce the pace at which health care costs are growing and save the country more than $2 trillion over 10 years. Questions remain over how much those savings could help achieve universal coverage.