Senate Dems Say Obama Plans Don't Fix Spending

Say legislation isn't aggressive enough on fee-for-service model
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 10, 2009 1:05 PM CST
Senate Finance Committee member Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – Some Democrats in the Senate are worried that reform legislation under consideration doesn't do enough to rein in out-of-control health care spending. President Obama has promised $2 trillion in savings over the next 10 years, but critics say the proposed changes aren't nearly aggressive enough on the current pay-per-visit system favored by doctors and hospital groups.

“My assessment at this point,” Oregon's Ron Wyden tells the New York Times, “is that the legislation is heavy on health and light on reform.” Among the ideas to better curb costs are stricter Medicare reimbursement rates and an end to expensive insurance policies. The White House has to walk a tricky line. “Let’s be honest,” Rahm Emanuel says. “The goal isn’t to see whether I can pass this through the executive board of the Brookings Institution. I’m passing it through the United States Congress with people who represent constituents.”