WASHINGTON – Praising and prodding Congress, President Barack Obama on Wednesday said a vast reform of the nation’s health insurance system is required to head off instability to families, industry and the government itself.
“Deferring reform is nothing more than defending the status quo — and those who would oppose our efforts should take a hard look at just what it is they’re defending,” Obama said in the Rose Garden, pushing for landmark bills to get through the House and Senate before Congress’ August recess.
Putting more of his own political stake behind the effort each day, Obama outlined the troubles with the U.S. approach to health care coverage, with an emphasis on the cost to consumers. He spoke of soaring premiums, deductibles and out-of-pocket costs and promised with reform, “You’ll save money.”
“If you lose your job, change your job or start a new business, you’ll still be able to find quality health insurance that you can afford,” Obama promised. Once again assuring Americans who are dubious of what might be changing, he said those happy with their doctor and health care plan will be able to keep it.
To make his point, Obama surrounded himself with nurses and proclaimed that they’re “on board” with reform.
Any proposed health care package still must clear the complexities and politics of getting through the House and Senate, with Obama’s ambitious goals of slowing cost increases and bringing coverage to nearly 50 million uninsured. How to pay for it all remains one of the most vexing parts of the debate.
The Senate health committee cast a milestone vote Wednesday to approve legislation expanding insurance coverage to nearly all Americans, becoming the first congressional panel to act on Obama’s top domestic priority.
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Photos of Obama during his trip to Ghama where he addressed healthcare and other critical issues.