WASHINGTON – The following statement was issued by Mary R. Grealy, president of the Healthcare Leadership Council following today’s announcement by the co-chairs of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction:
“Like all Americans, the nation’s healthcare leaders are disappointed in the Select Committee’s inability to reach a bipartisan agreement on essential deficit reduction. The November 23 legislative deadline, however, should not mean an end to efforts to place government spending and our economy on a more sustainable path. There is still ample time to achieve sensible, meaningful budget savings before automatic cuts go into effect.
“The greatest disappointment, though, is that the ‘super committee’ didn’t utilize this opportunity to begin the process of reforming and strengthening our entitlement programs. Dr. Alice Rivlin and Senator Pete Domenici were correct when they testified before the Select Committee that fiscal sustainability cannot be achieved without structural reform of the Medicare program. We encourage Congress to make Medicare reform a priority, looking beyond conventional budget cuts that hurt beneficiaries without achieving long-term solvency. Instead, the focus should be on driving greater value and cost-effectiveness through consumer choice and competition.”
The Healthcare Leadership Council is a coalition of chief executives of the nation’s leading health care companies and organizations.