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Experts Sound Off on Health Care Reform

One day after Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont) unveiled his much-anticipated health care plan, experts from government, academia and health services weighed in on the latest developments.

Grassley: Politics Has Taken Over

"Through the course of working and developing what's been developed, it's without a doubt, a lot of hard work put in. It was three Republicans and three Democrats, not one harsh word and not anything but collegiality present in that room over a long period of time. And we were working through it and we were still at the table. And do you think we would put in hundreds of hours if we didn't think that we'd have a chance to have success? What has happened is the politics has taken over... The politics stepping in is going to make it very difficult. Most importantly, what's the hurry?"

- Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa

Managing Health

"When we look at the real issue that health insurance premiums over the past decade have gone up over about 7.7 percent. And that's because health care, the cost of health care, has gone up 7.7 percent. So the way to fix a system in where we're putting resources on how we actually create more value of aligning incentives, meaning paying physicians to manage the health of the population."

- Ronald Williams, Aetna CEO

Debate Temperature Rising

"The proposal that was just released is not in legislative form. We don't know what the actual cost of this is going to be and whether it really will add to the deficit. That's unclear at this stage. Those are unanswered questions. With regard to the coop, I read the section in the proposal, and there's no detail ... My fear is that this is just a placeholder for another government option."

- Rep. Charles Boustany, R-La.

Outlining A Different Medical Model

"We are a totally integrated system. The doctors get employed so they get a salary and there's no incentive for them to do either too much or too little. We are very much around measuring quality and everyone of our portions of our hospital measures on an annual basis the quality of the results that we have. And we're very transparent about reporting them."

- Toby Cosgrove, Cleveland Clinic president & CEO

Public vs. Private

"We need a market for delivering health care and for providing insurance. We need to be able to choose based on value. And frankly there is no evidence that a public system delivers better care. In fact, most other countries don't have a public system but they have the government playing a role in insurance."

- Michael Porter, Harvard Business School professor

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