Obama Travels To Middle America To Pitch Healthcare Reform

07.23.09 | FL News Team

President Obama travels to Ohio today to promote aggressive healthcare reform. He'll visit the Cleveland Clinic before hosting a town hall-style meeting. In a primetime news conference at the White House last night, the President linked healthcare reform to economic recovery. Obama cited progress in curbing the long recession and warned of tough days ahead. He called healthcare reform central to the effort to rescue the economy from a "full-blown crisis." Obama said, quote, "This has to get done."


The President stressed that soaring healthcare costs must be curbed. If not, he insisted that the U.S. will not be able to curb ballooning deficits. Obama pledged to sign reform legislation this year that "lowers cost, promotes choice and provides coverage that every American can count on." He said he won't sign a bill that taxes the middle class and repeated a vow to not sign any legislation that aggravates federal deficits. The President said it is "important to get this right."


As lawmakers struggle to craft comprehensive reform, Obama called out critics. He accused some Republicans of aiming to kill any healthcare reform. The President stressed that healthcare is "not a game" for millions of Americans. He warned of dire consequences without reform, including skyrocketing premiums and out-of-pocket healthcare costs. Obama said without reform, 14-thousand Americans will continue to lose their health insurance every day. He also cited the roughly 47-million Americans who have no health insurance.


The President defended his call to Congress to produce healthcare reform legislation by August. He said little gets done in Washington without deadlines. Obama talked about expensive waste in the U.S. healthcare system, including unnecessary and redundant medical tests. He repeated it's time to get rid of what doesn't work and start emphasizing things that do work. The President said the nation can no longer afford the status quo.