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Health Care Experts React To Obama Speech

Health care experts reacted Thursday to President Obama's Speech to Congress on health care reform. The following are video highlights from CNBC.

On a Public-Private Partnership

"We don't think the public option is the way to go. We think it will stifle competition. If anything, a public-private partnership might be the answer. You can look at the federal employee health care program or you can look at Medicare part D with the seniors on drug coverage. That's a program that was put in place and administered by the government and then players, insurers and PBMs negotiated and participated in the program. And we've saved seniors $1,200 a year on average."

- Thomas Ryan, CEO of CVS Caremark

Small Business: Covering Employees

“What I’ve heard from businesses large and small, especially medium and small-sized businesses, is that they’re very alarmed at the rising cost of health care, where every year the cost of premiums to cover their employees is going up 10 percent and is expected to double in the next ten years. So what happens is they’re very concerned that their revenues are not going to keep pace with the rising cost of health insurance they’re facing for their employees. Many of them are being forced to either cut back on benefits, which puts the burden on the individuals and their families or they’re terminating coverage for their employees all together.”

- Gary Locke, Commerce Secretary

Health Care’s Bottom Line

“One of the things that the president talked about last night was bringing patient safety to the forefront. And, what I liked about that is the fact that CareFusion as a newly public company really is the largest company in the world focused exclusively on patient safety. I think many things about the plan will help our company. In the discussions that I've had with hospital CEOs, they've made it very clear that as access increases and they expect their reimbursement per patient to be down, they need to step up their focus on efficiency and quality."

- David Schlotterbeck, CEO of CareFusion

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