Sebelius Says Health Care Status Quo in the US is Unacceptable

by Rajashri on  June 15, 2009 at 8:08 PM Health Insurance News   - G J E 4
US health secretary Kathleen Sebelius warned Sunday that the United States' unwieldy health care system is "unsustainable".

"Everybody recognizes the status quo is the enemy. It's unacceptable, unsustainable," said Sebelius, who leads the Department of Health and Human Services.
 Sebelius Says Health Care Status Quo in the US is Unacceptable
Sebelius Says Health Care Status Quo in the US is Unacceptable

"We can't continue down this path," she told ABC television.

The president wants Congress to approve his health care reform proposals by the end of the year in order to fulfill one his key campaign promises -- providing health care to the 46 million Americans, some 15 percent of the population, who currently have no medical coverage whatsoever.

Sebelius said even those who have coverage find the system inefficient and cumbersome.

"Doctors understand the current system doesn't work. They're spending way too much time on paperwork and overhead, and not enough time with patients. Hospitals can't sustain it," she said.

Meanwhile, the employer-based nature of US health insurance is also hurt US business's bottom line.

"It's crushing businesses, it's crushing families. Our workers are less competitive. We can't sustain the system that we have right now, so the status quo is not an acceptable alternative," Sebelius told ABC.

Obama also has vowed to reduce the cost of health spending, which at the current rate, would take up one in five US dollars by 2013.

He said Saturday he had found more than 300 billion dollars that could help his government make health care available to all Americans.

The announcement means that the president's health care reform project, estimated to cost around one trillion dollars, would be almost fully financed.

The president said the amount included over 300 billion dollars that will be saved through changes like reducing Medicare overpayments to private insurers, and rooting out waste in the Medicare and Medicaid health programs that serve the elderly and the poor, respectively.

Source: AFP

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