During 2010's year-long debate about health care reform in the U.S., Republican critics of President Obama's proposals said there were other issues that needed to be on the table, including: acquiring insurance across state lines, expanding health savings accounts, and putting limits on malpractice awards.
In a conference call on Thursday morning hosted by Fix The Debt's Florida chapter, Donna Shalala — former Health and Human Services secretary under President Clinton, and currently the President of the University of Miami — agreed that tort reform is needed to help curve rising health care costs.
Shalala co-hosted the conference call with her Fix the Debt Republican colleague Justin Sayfie, former Jeb Bush speechwriter and publisher of the Sayfie Review. Both called on Congress and the president to decide today on a long-term fiscal plan going forward, especially with sequestration — draconian budget cuts to social programs and defense — coming up in March.
Shalala said the sequester "will be a disaster for Florida and the nation," since it could potentially cut programs that aid the disabled, as well as the elderly and public institutions. But she added that in the end, some programs will have to be eliminated.
A reporter asked Shalala whether the cuts that Fix The Debt are calling for are entitlement programs or due to the fact that health care costs are escalating. Shalala said it was a combination of both, and talked about how important it is for doctors and hospitals to move away from the current fee-for-service system and toward an integrated system where everybody is accountable for slowing down the costs.