Will Obama Strike A Deal With The Hospital Lobby?

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July 2, 2009 12:55 p.m.

In recent weeks, the Obama administration has struck a number of deals with several health care industry stake holders, and they may be on the brink of another breakthrough.

The hospital industry is close to a deal with the White House and congressional Democrats in which the industry would agree to federal funding cuts of $150 billion to $170 billion over the next decade to help pay for a health system overhaul, according to people familiar with the talks.

The deal, which isn’t final, could be announced within days. A critical feature is an agreement on phasing in the Medicare and Medicaid cuts.

That’s inside scuttlebutt from Kaiser Health News. The details–where the cuts will come from, and what concessions they’ve been promised–still seem murky, and will be crucial. Hospitals are a powerful interest group, and haven’t always been friendly negotiators. Earlier this year, the American Hospital Association distanced itself from a pledged it had signed on to with several other stakeholders to reduce health care costs by $2 trillion over 10 years.

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