Washington, D.C., government relations director Julie Scott Allen was quoted in Modern Healthcare in an article on the health care issues raised by President Obama in his annual State of the Union address.

The article notes that while the president acknowledged that the biggest driver of the nation's long-term debt is the rising cost of healthcare for an aging population, he offered very few specifics on the type of Medicare reforms he's willing to make to sustain the program.

President Obama said he is prepared to enact Medicare reforms that will achieve the same amount of health care savings by the beginning of the next decade as the reforms proposed by the Simpson-Bowles committee. He also said his proposed reforms would go further than the Affordable Care Act.

"We'll reduce taxpayer subsidies to prescription drug companies and ask more from the wealthiest seniors," he said. "We'll bring down costs by changing the way our government pays for Medicare, because our medical bills shouldn't be based on the number of tests ordered or days spent in the hospital—they should be based on the quality of care our seniors receive.”

Julie commented that although the president stressed a need for modest reforms to Medicare, he could have widened his view on this subject.

"He repeated his promise against balancing the economy on the backs of seniors," she said. "However, I think the dialogue must be broader than that. Protecting seniors' access to healthcare also means not instituting further devastating cuts to the healthcare providers we expect to provide those healthcare services from hospitals to clinical laboratories."

To read the entire article, click here.