SOTU Light on Healthcare, Industry Reacts

Margaret Dick Tocknell, for HealthLeaders Media , January 25, 2012

Ethan Rome, executive director of Health Care for America Now, a grassroots healthcare advocacy group
"President Obama laid out a clear, sensible vision to restore the health of America's economy, create jobs and address the income inequality that is weakening our nation. America needs to rally around this plan. Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, who took a break from his campaign to silence workers' voices on the job, …can't hide the record."

"The Republicans have opposed making healthcare affordable, they've blocked every effort to create jobs, they've been trying to undermine the laws that hold banks accountable and they've rejected every step needed to revitalize the U.S. economy…President Obama outlined concrete plans to give everyone a fair shot at achieving the American Dream."

Chip Kahn, CEO of the Federation of American Hospitals.
"Healthcare reform was totally absent from the speech. He used the speech to develop the equality issue, which will be the theme of his re-election campaign. I think that means that in this election year we're going to see stealth healthcare reform from the Democrats. They'll try to unbridle Republicans from the seniors on the Medicare issue. Republicans will try to talk about the Medicare and the deficit. Everyone will be talking past each other."

David Kendall, Senior Fellow for Health and Fiscal Policy, Third Way
"The President made healthcare cost control a permanent part of his agenda. He wants to go beyond healthcare reform and achieve additional savings in Medicare and Medicaid. Washington now has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to align the federal interest in controlling costs with efforts already underway in the private sector to make healthcare affordable in the long run."

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