About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us

Obama Mounts Defense of Embattled Health Care

by VR Sreeraman on July 23, 2009 at 4:48 PM
Font : A-A+

 Obama Mounts Defense of Embattled Health Care

President Barack Obama fiercely defended his embattled campaign to overhaul US healthcare, calling it vital to nursing the economy to long-term vigor after a "full-blown crisis."

Facing a defining moment six months into his presidency, Obama warned at his fourth prime-time press conference that a political stalemate must not be allowed to kill what he has described as a central plank of his domestic platform.


"As we rescue this economy from a full-blown crisis, we must rebuild it stronger than before. And health insurance reform is central to that effort," the president said in the White House's ornate East Room.

Amid doubts that divided lawmakers can meet Obama's self-imposed timetable of passing key legislation before the August recess, the president underlined that "if you don't set deadlines in this town, things don't happen."

The US Congress has been groping its way forward on overhauling a healthcare system that leaves some 47 million Americans uninsured, but it is unclear when or even whether the Senate and House of Representatives will act.

Recent public opinion polls suggest growing unease about Obama's approach, with his own approval ratings still healthy but showing some signs of weakness in the face of a relentless onslaught by his Republican critics.

The president was undaunted, declaring: "We will pass reform that lowers cost, promotes choice and provides coverage that every American can count on. And we will do it this year."

And Obama tied the bid, including plans to revamp the government's Medicaid program for the poor and Medicare program for the elderly, to efforts to deflate the budget deficit, which has ballooned to historic girth.

"Let me be clear: If we do not control these costs, we will not be able to control our deficit," he said, warning the price of inaction will be skyrocketing insurance premiums and out-of-pocket costs for the US public, as well as more and more uninsured Americans.

"These are the consequences of inaction. These are the stakes of the debate we're having right now," he warned.

But "the American people are understandably queasy about the huge deficits and debt that we're facing right now," said Obama, calling both problems "deep concerns of mine."

"We have been able to pull our economy back from the brink," he said, adding that "we still have a long way to go" and cautioning that historically high unemployment will likely be "one of the last things to bounce back."

The president said he had "inherited" a 1.3-trillion-dollar deficit upon taking office in January -- but Republicans quickly shot back that Obama's economic stimulus and an emergency war spending bill had sent current estimates for the year's deficit to about 1.8 trillion dollars.

Healthcare reform has bedeviled many administrations, including that of former president Bill Clinton who tried, and very publicly failed, to change the system.

And Republicans are loudly fretting over the cost of Obama's plans, with some branding it "socialism" and warning the deficit will only grow if the popular president has his way.

"Republicans look forward to being able to move a healthcare proposal this year on a truly bipartisan basis and one that doesn't increase the deficit," said Senate Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

But Republicans want reform "that doesn't put the government in charge of our healthcare, one that doesn't produce a system that in the end delays cares, in many instances denies care," he added.

Obama has received support in some Republican quarters however, including from California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who said reform was needed "right away."

"I would support him 100 percent in healthcare reform, because I think it's necessary," Schwarzenegger told ABC television, adding it was "inexcusable" that so many people remained uninsured.

Source: AFP

News A-Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Is COVID-19 Vaccination during Pregnancy Safe?
Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD)
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Health Insurance Plan New India Assurance Policies Health Insurance - India 

Recommended Reading
President Obama Budgets 634 Billion Dollars for Healthcare Reform
President Barack Obama will ask for 634 billion dollars over 10 years in his 2010 budget to pay for ...
Obama in All-out Push for US Health Reform
US President Barack Obama holds a primetime news conference Wednesday to tout the health care ......
US Lawmakers Aim To Make Quality, Affordable Health Care Available To All Americans
Democratic lawmakers took a first step toward fulfilling President Barack Obama's promise to ......
Public Health Insurance Option is Viable, Says Obama
President Barack Obama on Wednesday said he was open to the idea of a public funding of health ......
Health Insurance - India
Health insurance has emerged as one of the fastest growing segments in the non-life insurance indust...
Health Insurance Plan
With a health insurance policy you and your family can rest assured!...
New India Assurance Policies
The existing Mediclaim and Health Plus Medical expenses policies have been discontinued and Mediclai...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use