The Corner

Do Business Leaders Have to Record Their Conversations with President Obama?

As Kathryn mentions below, the signatories to President Obama’s vague letter on cutting health-care costs do not even agree with the president on what it means. They assert that he has “substantially overstated their promise.”

Mr. Obama said: “Over the next 10 years, from 2010 to 2019, they are pledging to cut the rate of growth of national health care spending by 1.5 percentage points each year — an amount that’s equal to over $2 trillion.”

Health care leaders who attended the meeting have a different interpretation. They say they agreed to slow health spending in a more gradual way and did not pledge specific year-by-year cuts.

This reminds me of President Obama’s Caterpillar promise of February. He said then that Caterpillar CEO Jim Owens had told him he’d start rehiring laid-off workers if the stimulus package passed. Owens, an economic advisor to Obama, disputed the president’s account, and said that there would be more layoffs at Caterpillar (which came a month later).


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