Industry Executives Say Health Reform Won't Be Lasting Cure

Doctors and drug company executives say current reform legislation doesn't do enough to fix the problem of rising costs in the U.S. health care system or encourage healthier lifestyles.

"An ailing U.S. health-care system might improve if U.S. reform legislation passes, but few health-industry executives and doctors gathered at a medical innovation conference believe it will be a lasting cure," Dow Jones Newswires/NASDAQ reports. "Many attendees at the Cleveland Clinic's annual summit agreed that the latest reform proposals would help expand health-insurance coverage. But they're skeptical that reform, as outlined in legislation seen as having the best chance of passage, will directly lead to more efficient delivery of health care or to controlling soaring costs."

Toby Cosgrove, CEO of the Cleveland Clinic, said legislation should do more to bring down costs. He "believes there should be more integration of hospitals with physician practices and among hospitals. Also, with an 'epidemic of obesity' in the U.S., Cosgrove said there should be better incentives for individuals to live healthier lifestyles that would stave off costly disease." Cosgrove says that without these kinds of measures, health care costs will keep rising, "requiring further action within several years" (Loftus, 10/7).

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