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Rhode Islanders talk health care in D.C.

November 10, 2011

How can changes to the way we deliver health care bring down costs? That’s the topic of a hearing for the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) committee today, and Rhode Islanders are right in the middle of the discussion.

This is this first time RI Senator Sheldon Whitehouse will chair a hearing for HELP since he got a permanent seat on the committee in January.  His spokesperson Seth Larson says Whitehouse hopes to add some perspective on how to cut health care costs in Washington. If the government can save money by restructuring the way the system delivers health care instead of say, raising the eligibility age for Medicare, that might be a better option.

The hearing starts with an update from Jonathan Blum, the Deputy Administrator and Director of the Center for Medicare, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. He’ll talk about what’s being done already under the health care overhaul to restructure the health care system and hopefully save money.

The second panel features RI’s own Health Insurance Commissioner Chris Koller (among others) talking about Rhode Island’s experience rethinking the way health care works.

Want to follow along? The panel will be web-cast starting at 1:30. Koller is likely to come on around 2pm, but Whitehouse will be doing all the things a chair does throughout the entire discussion.

Oh, and what do we mean when we say “delivery system reform”? Here’s how RI’s Director of the Department of Health explained his vision a few months ago.

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