According to a June 2, 2009 letter from President Obama to key Democrat Congressman, the President is pushing for major health care reform legislation by October 2009. Given that this is only a few months away, it is remarkable how little detail exists with regard to the President’s plan for reform. Here are some key quotes and a few take away thoughts that might be gleaned from the President’s letter:

I strongly believe that Americans should have the choice of a public health insurance option operating alongside private plans”. Based on this quote it would appear that there will indeed be an expanded national health insurance program. If the Medicare program is any indicator, this is going to mean a lot more regulation.

I am committed to working with the Congress to fully offset the cost of health care reform by … strengthening Medicare and Medicaid payment accuracy by cutting waste, fraud and abuse; improving care for Medicare patients after hospitalizations; and encouraging physicians to form "accountable care organizations" to improve the quality of care for Medicare patients.” I’m guessing this means more fraud and abuse enforcement and more physician accountability although the President’s definition of an “accountable care organization” remains elusive.

I am committed to working with the Congress to fully offset the cost of health care reform by reducing Medicare and Medicaid spending by another $200 to $300 billion over the next 10 years, and by enacting appropriate proposals to generate additional revenues.” More taxes?

These savings will come not only by adopting new technologies and addressing the vastly different costs of care, but from going after the key drivers of skyrocketing health care costs, including unmanaged chronic diseases, duplicated tests, and unnecessary hospital readmissions.” Though it’s pretty vague, this could mean greater rationing of care through mechanisms such as pre-authorization requirements for diagnostic testing.

If President Obama has his way, big changes will be coming very soon.  Stay tuned!