Obama: 1.5% Annually for 10 Years – American Hospital Assoc: Yeah, Not So Much

President Obama made a big announcement when he told America his administration and six major health care organizations have agreed to reduce health care spending by 1.5 percentage points annually over the next ten years.

This could amount to $2 trillion or more. Here’s the rub:

The president of the American Hospital Association said Thursday that a deal with the White House to cut the growth in health care spending has been “spun way away from the original intent.”

President Barack Obama described the agreement this week with six major health care organizations as a “watershed event,” hailing what the White House said was their promise to reduce spending by 1.5 percentage points annually for a decade, which he said could save as much as $2 trillion over that span.

But in a conference call Thursday, President Richard Umbdenstock told 230 member organizations that the agreement had been misrepresented. The groups, he said, had agreed to gradually ramp up to the 1.5 percentage-point target over 10 years – not to reduce spending by that much in each of the 10 years.

That explains the looks of confusion on the faces of the people behind Obama.

The Patriot Room figures the savings at around $373.5 billion. As they say, “A far cry from a $2 trillion “gamechanging” pledge.”