Economy Rockford: Code Red: Fixing Healthcare

President Barack Obama praised the healthcare industry’s promise this week to cut more than two trillion dollars in costs in the next ten years. It’s part of a massive effort to reform our healthcare system. We took a closer look at the plan to see if it will mean lower healthcare costs in the future.

"I think its like so many things in that the commitment makes sense and is honorable, but really in the end can you pull it off. I think its going to be difficult."

Dr. Bill Gorski says theres much more energy towards overhauling our healthcare system and driving down the costs. National healthcare leaders have signed on to President Obama’s plan for healthcare reform, vowing to reduce costs by one and a half percent a year by offering better care. Gorski says more efficient care could translate into lower healthcare costs for us. But he also says, so far, the proposal is short on specifics in some key areas.

"We work everyday to figure out how we can be as efficient as we can while at the same time maintaining the highest quality of care. Those two things have to go together. We can't leach expense out of the system at the expense at how we care for people. How do we reconcile what we have become used to in this country if you have coverage and access care? You clearly have the best healthcare in the world. If you don't have access to it, you probably don't. So how are we going to bring those two things together and say what is the appropriate spending for healthcare in this country? What are we going to say we can cover and what can't we cover?”

The U.S. spends more than two trillion dollars a year on healthcare, more than any other country. It’s estimated that at least one third of that spending goes for services that provide little or no benefits to patients.

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