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Thurman Statement in Support of President Obama's Agreement With Health Care Industry Groups to Redu

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Historic Deal Would Save $2 Trillion in Health Care Costs Over Next Ten Years, Provides Significant Momentum to Passing Health NEWS FROM THE FLORIDA DEMOCRATIC PARTYFor Immediate Release: May 11, 2009  Tallahassee, FL - Today, key stakeholders in health care reform joined President Obama at the White House to announce their commitment to achieving a sharp reduction in the nation's health care costs.  Their plans to prioritize preventative care, manage chronic illnesses, curtail unnecessary tests and procedures, standardize insurance claim forms and use electronic medical records could save the nation 1.5 percent a year, or $2 trillion over the next 10 years. Six health care industry groups including executives of the Advanced Medical Technology Association, a lobby for medical device manufacturers; the American Hospital Association; the American Medical Association; the America's Health Insurance Plans, a trade group for insurers; the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America; and the Service Employees International Union met with the President today and presented him a letter pledging to pursue efforts like those outlined above to make significant costs savings in the health care system over the next ten years.  These groups represent a coalition of competing interests which have concluded that health care costs are rising at an unsustainable rate and most be curtailed.  Florida Democratic Party Chair Karen Thurman, who played a key role as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee during the last national healthcare debate, issued the following statement after the announcement at the White House and called on Members of the Florida Congressional Delegation to get behind broader health care reform this year: "Health care industry leaders joined President Obama today to announce their commitment to working with the Administration to sharply reduce national health care spending.  By 2014, a family of four could save $2,500 a year.  That's a big difference for the working families in Florida who are struggling to make ends meet. "Today, I applaud President Obama for bringing together a coalition of competing interests to be part of the President's efforts to reform our broken health care system. His announcement is nothing short of historic and will provide the momentum we need to get broader health care reform passed by Congress this year.  Skyrocketing health care costs are one of the biggest burdens on Florida's families.  Since 2000, health insurance premiums have almost doubled and health care premiums have grown three times faster than wages. Rising costs are crippling businesses and too many Floridians delay or skip medical care all together because it's too expensive. Reforming health care is the key to restoring financial stability and securing our fiscal future. "We have a long way to go to reform our health care system, but today's announcement is an important step toward comprehensive reform. And it shows President Obama's ability to bring people together and provide the leadership we need to make health care reform a reality. "The Florida Democratic Party looks forward to working with President Obama and our Congressional leaders to harness the growing momentum for reform and chart a course toward a patient-centered health care system that reduces costs, preserves individual choice and assures quality affordable care for every Floridians.  As the President has said time and time again, reform is not a luxury that can be postponed, but a necessity that cannot wait." -###-