Obama Continues Push For Health Proposal

by VR Sreeraman on  September 14, 2009 at 12:16 PM Health Insurance News   - G J E 4
 Obama Continues Push For Health Proposal
President Obama travelled to Minneapolis today for a rally and also used a new Treasury Department analysis to continue his push for health care reform.

The Associated Press: "Eager to grab the megaphone from his opponents, President Barack Obama carried a reinvigorated pitch to overhaul and expand the nation's health insurance system in a trip Saturday to friendly territory. His address to rally of more than 10,000 at Target Center was part of a weekend campaign by the White House to give the president as much exposure as possible after his prime-time address Wednesday to Congress."

"I have no interest in having a bill get passed that fails. That doesn't work," he told CBS' '60 Minutes' in an interview to air Sunday night. He added: "I intend to be president for a while and once this bill passes, I own it. And if people look and say, You know what? This hasn't reduced my costs. My premiums are still going up 25 percent, insurance companies are still jerking me around.' I'm the one who's going to be held responsible. So I have every incentive to get this right." (Kuhnhenn, 9/12).

The New York Times reports that the Minneapolis rally is "the first of a series of rallies intended to whip up public support for his health care bill. The second is planned for Thursday, at the University of Maryland in College Park.

The White House hopes the rallies will provide a powerful visual - thousands of boisterous Americans cheering in support of health reform - to counter the negative images that emerged during Congressional town meetings over the summer, where critics of Mr. Obama turned out in force. With anti-tax groups who oppose Mr. Obama's policies staging their own rally in Washington on Saturday, the president can ill afford to cede the airwaves to his opponents" (Stolberg, 9/12).

Politico: "President Obama is seizing on a new Treasury Department analysis of data from the University of Michigan that shows many Americans will be without health insurance at periods of their life to make the case for his reform efforts. In his weekly radio and internet address, Obama cites the study to say, 'half of all Americans under 65 will lose their health coverage at some point over the next ten years.'"

"'If you're under the age of 21 today, chances are more than half that you'll find yourself uninsured at some point in that time, Obama said. And more than one-third of Americans will go without coverage for longer than one year.' The study is taken from a sample of some 7,500 American families selected by a panel at the University of Michigan, according to Treasury officials who briefed reporters on the results Friday night" (Martin, 9/12).

Wall Street Journal: "The Treasury report also stated that, from 1997 to 2006, 41% of non-elderly people lacked insurance for at least 6 months. 45% of people earning $50,000 to $100,000 lacked insurance for at least a month during the 10-year period. A Treasury official said in a conference call Friday that the number of those who didn't have insurance during the 10-year period could actually be higher. 'To the extent our numbers are off, we expect that we're understating the periods that people go without health insurance,' the official said" (Yoest, 9/12).

The Hill reports that, in the Republican address, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, talked about the President: "'He's paid lip service to bipartisanship while rejecting the ideas that would build bipartisan support,' the Texas senator said, criticizing the administration for the cost of its proposal. 'As a result, the president has alienated not only independents and divided his own party, but Republicans as well. And, he's ignored the clear wishes of the American people.' Cornyn, along with a host of other GOP lawmakers, will make that case again to viewers on the Sunday talk shows this week. In what is perhaps a preview of what he and his colleagues will say, he ticked off a series of his party's recommendations for health reform, including changes to malpractice laws and revisions to Medicare and Medicaid" (Romm, 9/12).

Source: Kaiser Health News

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