Statement by Robert Restuccia, Executive Director of Community Catalyst, and Rev. Heyward D. Wiggins III, PICO National Network and senior pastor of Camden Bible Tabernacle Church on President Obama’s deficit reduction proposal to the Congressional Super Committee.
(BOSTON AND WASHINGTON, DC) – “President Obama today offered a balanced approach to deficit reduction that protects middle class families, senior citizens, and children and asks for reasonable shared sacrifices from the wealthiest Americans and corporations. The plan complements the President’s much-needed jobs plan, which would put almost two million people back to work so they could support their families and have access to employer-sponsored health insurance.
“The President has also proposed a number of smart approaches to health care cost containment that build on important reforms in the Affordable Care Act designed to improve efficiencies, reduce waste and improve the quality of care for millions of Americans. There are ways to reduce the deficit that make the health care system stronger in the long term. For example, the President’s proposal calls for important reforms in how we pay for prescription drugs, including reducing excess prices Medicare pays to the drug industry and ending “pay for delay” agreements that prevent generic drugs from entering the market in a timely manner. The President also proposed steps to reduce preventable hospital admissions and ensure individuals get high-quality care in the most appropriate clinical settings.
“Although we are grateful the President generally rejected misguided proposals that would undermine the health security Medicare and Medicaid provide to millions of Americans every day, we are concerned about several proposals that would shift costs to already overburdened states and beneficiaries. We are also concerned about proposed cuts to public health funding, which is a critical investment in our long-term strategy for a healthy and productive nation. We hope the Super Committee will reject these proposals and embrace alternative savings ideas that take additional steps to improve quality and efficiency rather than shifting costs.
“Putting the country back on a sustainable economic path is daunting work, but the health, well-being and livelihood of all Americans – especially future generations – hinge on getting it right. The American public has made it clear that increasing the number of jobs is the top priority and that they want Congress to take a balanced approach to deficit reduction by having those who can most afford to pay contribute their fair share. We hope members of the Super Committee will heed that call, and we look forward to working with the Administration and Members of Congress on additional ideas to produce needed savings without placing an undue burden on those least able to shoulder it.”
About Community Catalyst
Community Catalyst is a national non-profit consumer advocacy organization dedicated to quality affordable health care for all. Community Catalyst works in partnership with national, state and local consumer organizations, policymakers, and foundations, providing leadership and support to change the health care system so it serves everyone – especially vulnerable members of society. For more information, visit www.communitycatalyst.org. Read or comment on our blogs at http://blog.communitycatalyst.org/ and http://postscript.communitycatalyst.org/. Follow us on Twitter @healthpolicyhub.
PICO National Network is a national network of faith-based community organizations working to expand health care coverage and improve communities in 17 states. www.piconetwork.org