The chief criticisms are that the healthcare groups weren't very specific about just how they plan to achieve those staggering savings and that there's no way to hold them accountable if they don't.
Obama sought to answer those criticisms Tuesday in a thank-you note he sent to the leaders of the organizations that made the promise.
"I will hold you to your pledge to get this one," Obama wrote. "I would like you to update my administration by early June on the progress you have made toward fulfilling this important commitment."
The president sent the letter to the heads of the Advanced Medical Technology Association, the American Hospital Association, the American Medical Association, America's Health Insurance Plans, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America and the Service Employees International Union's healthcare division.
- Jeffrey Young
Download Obama's letter here.