Notice: Internet Explorer 11 users may encounter issues loading pages throughout the website. Please turn on IE-11’s compatibility mode while we work to resolve the issue.

>

MEETINGS / EVENTS

RSS
>

ASA FEATURED PRODUCT

Add this product to your shopping cart

Anesthesiology Continuing Education (ACE) Program

SKU: 30702-14CE

... Read more »

Single Copies, Member Price: $360

ASA Responds to President Obama's State of the Union Speech

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

On Tuesday, January 25, President Obama delivered his State of the Union address to a joint session of the United States Congress.  The address was 6,082 words, only 207 of which addressed the issue of healthcare.  In his limited remarks on health care, the President focused on three areas: the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), Medicare and Medicaid spending, and medical malpractice reform.

On PPACA, the President said, “If you have ideas about how to improve this law by making care better or more affordable, I am eager to work with you.”  President Obama went on to express a desire to, “instead of re-fighting the battles of the last two years, let’s fix what needs fixing and move forward.”

President Obama expressed an openness to consider previously debated medical liability reform proposals.  President Obama said, “I’m willing to look at other ideas to bring down costs, including one that Republicans suggested last year: medical malpractice reform to rein in frivolous lawsuits.”

Within the context of reducing federal spending, the President suggested that Medicare and Medicaid would be targeted for spending reductions.  The President singled out these two programs as “the single biggest contributor to our long-term deficit.”

ASA President Mark Warner M.D., released the following response to President Obama’s speech:

“ASA was greatly encouraged to hear President Obama express a willingness to improve the health reform law.  While there are many improvements needed to PPACA, ASA believes two substantial initial improvements are needed - eliminate the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) and the remove of the nondiscrimination language.  ASA was pleased to hear the President’s openness to medical liability reform, and ASA will continue to strongly support legislation that creates meaningful tort reform.   In this time of growing national debt and massive budget deficits, ASA understands the message presented by President Obama in his State of the Union and reiterated by Representative Paul Ryan in his response, that all Americans will feel the impact of the steps needed to get government spending under control.  While ASA understands the desire to rein in the costs of Medicare and Medicaid, we oppose any move that will lower the physician payment rates, which for anesthesiologists is 33 percent of what commercial providers pay according to a GAO study.”   

Key excerpts from President Obama’s speech:

Medical Liability Reform
“Still, I’m willing to look at other ideas to bring down costs, including one that Republicans suggested last year: medical malpractice reform to rein in frivolous lawsuits.”

On the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA)
“Now, I’ve heard rumors that a few of you have some concerns about the new health care law. So let me be the first to say that anything can be improved. If you have ideas about how to improve this law by making care better or more affordable, I am eager to work with you. We can start right now by correcting a flaw in the legislation that has placed an unnecessary bookkeeping burden on small businesses.”

“What I’m not willing to do is go back to the days when insurance companies could deny someone coverage because of a pre-existing condition.  I’m not willing to tell James Howard, a brain cancer patient from Texas, that his treatment might not be covered. I’m not willing to tell Jim Houser, a small business owner from Oregon, that he has to go back to paying $5,000 more to cover his employees.  As we speak, this law is making prescription drugs cheaper for seniors and giving uninsured students a chance to stay on their parents’ coverage. So instead of re-fighting the battles of the last two years, let’s fix what needs fixing and move forward.”

Medicare and Medicaid Spending
“The bipartisan Fiscal Commission I created last year made this crystal clear. I don’t agree with all their proposals, but they made important progress. And their conclusion is that the only way to tackle our deficit is to cut excessive spending wherever we find it – in domestic spending, defense spending, health care spending, and spending through tax breaks and loopholes.”

“This means further reducing health care costs, including programs like Medicare and Medicaid, which are the single biggest contributor to our long-term deficit.”


Click here to read President Obama’s State of the Union speech.

Click here to read the Republican response by Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI)

 

« Back to Washington Alerts