Center for American Progress Action

RELEASE: Economists Praise Health Care Cost Containment Efforts
Press Release

RELEASE: Economists Praise Health Care Cost Containment Efforts

Dr. David Cutler and Dr. Judy Feder Say New Amendments "Offer Both Leadership And Partnership"

DECEMBER 8 — Today, health care experts and Center for American Progress Action Fund senior fellows Dr. David Cutler and Dr. Judy Feder released a letter expressing support for a new package of amendments aimed at further reducing health care costs. Their letter comes a day after CAPAF co-published a report (pdf) with the Commonwealth Fund estimating that the Senate health reform legislation will reduce costs even more than the Congressional Budget Office has projected.

Full text of the letter is below. Dr. Cutler and Feder are available for comment.

December 8

The Honorable Mark Begich
The Honorable Michael Bennet
The Honorable Roland Burris
The Honorable Kay Hagan
The Honorable Ted Kaufman
The Honorable Paul Kirk
The Honorable Jeff Merkley
The Honorable Jeanne Shaheen
The Honorable Mark Udall
The Honorable Tom Udall
The Honorable Mark Warner

Dear Senators:

We write to commend you on the Amendments you are offering to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Reducing cost increases in medical care is vital to family and government budgets, and to ensuring that all Americans have quality, affordable medical care.

Yesterday, the Center for American Progress Action Fund and the Commonwealth Fund released a report showing that the PPAC will result in deficit reduction of up to $409 billion over ten years and system savings of $576 billion. As we’ve argued elsewhere, slowing health care cost growth is not only necessary, it’s feasible — and the health care industry itself has recognized this to be the case. Now, with these amendments, you recognize that realizing these savings and efficiencies will require both public leadership and public/private partnership.

The package you have put together strengthens PPAC by offering both leadership and partnership. First, it restores Medicare to a leadership position in health system transformation. In the past, Medicare has been in the vanguard of promoting quality, efficient health care. Your amendments add the tools to put Medicare once again in the lead. Second, your amendments take PPAC beyond offering a more efficient Medicare as an example to the private sector. The amendments actually offer Medicare as a partner for the private sector, facilitating collaboration to spread good ideas throughout the medical system, regardless of where they originate. Third, by zeroing in on administrative simplification, your amendments tackle the unacceptable red-tape that contributes so much to health care system costs while producing so little value. Eliminating barriers and freeing up time for physicians, nurses and other practitioners to spend on patient care not only promises real savings but an improved medical care experience for patients and their providers.

We are pleased to lend our support to this package of amendments, and will work with you in whatever way possible to ensure they are adopted and successfully implemented.


Dr. David Cutler
Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress Action Fund

Judy Feder
Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress Action Fund