President Obama Gives a Shout-Out to Value-Based Purchasing in his State of the Union Address | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

President Obama Gives a Shout-Out to Value-Based Purchasing in his State of the Union Address

February 12, 2013
by Mark Hagland
| Reprints
The President also proposes changes in pharmaceutical policy and in Medicare rules for wealthy seniors
Click To View Gallery

In his first State of the Union address of his second term, President Barack Obama on Feb. 12 directly addressed some of the challenges and opportunities facing the federal Medicare program in the coming years, citing value-based purchasing in particular as an important change to the U.S. healthcare system, as well as proposing changes in pharmaceutical policy and in Medicare rules for wealthy seniors.

Just several minutes into a speech that was clocked at 60 minutes in length, President Obama told a joint session of Congress in Washington, D.C. that “On Medicare, I’m prepared to enact reforms that will achieve the same amount of healthcare savings by the beginning of the next decade as the reforms proposed by the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles commission. Already,” he said, “the Affordable Care Act is helping to slow the growth of healthcare costs.” Then, stepping into new policy territory, the President told his audience that “The reforms I’m proposing go even further. We’ll reduce taxpayer subsidies to prescription drug companies and ask more from the wealthiest seniors.” Turning back to the value-based purchasing program built into the ACA, he said that “We’ll bring down costs by changing the way our government pays for Medicare, because our medical bills shouldn’t be based on the number of tests ordered or days spent in the hospital – they should be based on the quality of care that our seniors receive.”

And President Obama added that “I am open to additional reforms from both parties, so long as they don’t violate the guarantee of a secure retirement. Our government shouldn’t make promises we cannot keep,” he said, “but we must keep the promises we’ve already made.”

In the official Republican rebuttal to the President’s State of the Union speech, Florida senator Marco Rubio criticized the ACA. Referring to it as “Obamacare,” Rubio said that “[M]ore government breeds complicated rules and laws that a small business can’t afford to follow.” Turning to the ACA specifically, Rubio said, “For example, Obamacare was supposed to help middle-class Americans afford health insurance. But now, some people are losing the health insurance they were happy with. And because Obamacare created expensive requirements for companies with more than 50 employees, now many of these businesses aren’t hiring. Not only that; they’re being forced to lay people off and switch from full-time employees to part-time workers.” Rubio did not cite a specific alternative to the ACA, but did bundle his criticism of that legislation in with a broader critique of what he saw as big-government policies, calling instead for economic growth via lower taxes and reductions in regulations.

Get the latest information on Finance and Revenues and attend other valuable sessions at this two-day Summit providing healthcare leaders with educational content, insightful debate and dialogue on the future of healthcare and technology.

Learn More

Topics

News

NewYork-Presbyterian, Walgreens Partner on Telemedicine Initiative

NewYork-Presbyterian and Walgreens are collaborating to bring expanded access to NewYork-Presbyterian’s healthcare through new telemedicine services, the two organizations announced this week.

ONC Releases Patient Demographic Data Quality Framework

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) developed a framework to help health systems, large practices, health information exchanges and payers to improve their patient demographic data quality.

AMIA, Pew Urge Congress to Ensure ONC has Funding to Implement Cures Provisions

The Pew Charitable Trusts and the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) have sent a letter to congressional appropriators urging them to ensure that ONC has adequate funding to implement certain 21st Century Cures Act provisions.

Former Michigan Governor to Serve as Chair of DRIVE Health

Former Michigan Governor John Engler will serve as chair of the DRIVE Health Initiative, a campaign aimed at accelerating the U.S. health system's transition to value-based care.

NJ Medical Group Launches Statewide HIE, OneHealth New Jersey

The Medical Society of New Jersey (MSNJ) recently launched OneHealth New Jersey, a statewide health information exchange (HIE) that is now live.

Survey: 70% of Providers Using Off-Premises Computing for Some Applications

A survey conducted by KLAS Research found that 70 percent of healthcare organizations have moved at least some applications or IT infrastructure off-premises.