President Obama Attempts to Push [03-04-10]

Filed under: Industry Updates — Editor @ 12:27 pm

President Obama has considerably stepped up his public activities in support of health care reform over the past week.  Yesterday, he delivered a speech in which he continued his push for health care reform following last week’s release of his reform proposal and the Health Care Summit he hosted with Senate and House leadership. His speech also followed a letter that he sent to Democratic and Republican Leadership the day before in which he outlined four “Republican” ideas that came out of the Summit and which he believes should be explored for inclusion in a final bill.  These ideas include the funding of fraud and abuse undercover investigations, malpractice reform demonstration projects, increasing Medicaid reimbursement to physicians, and expanding the role and access to Health Savings Accounts.  And in yesterday’s speech, President Obama outlined the three basic goals of his proposal.  In his words, these are 1) to “end the worst practices of insurance companies”; 2) to “give uninsured individuals and small business owners the same kind of choice of private health insurance that Members of Congress get for themselves”; and 3) to “bring down the cost of health care for millions.”

President Obama believes that his health care reform proposal, which is an attempt at merging Senate and House reform efforts, accomplishes these goals.  He further urged Congress in his speech to schedule a vote in the next few weeks – impliedly throwing his support behind the reconciliation process:

“We have debated this issue thoroughly, not just for the past year but for decades.  Reform has already passed the House with a majority.  It has already passed the Senate with a supermajority of 60 votes.  And now it deserves the same kind of up or down vote that was cast on welfare reform, that was cast on the Children’s Health Insurance Program, that was used for COBRA health coverage for the unemployed, and, by the way, for both Bush tax cuts — all of which had to pass Congress with nothing more than a simple majority.”

You can view his speech here.

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