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Our push to reform health insurance last march.
In this rural.
-- doctors and nurses who know the system -- and so.
It's fitting to be joined by all of you as we bring this journey to a close.
Last Thursday -- I spent seven hours.
At a summit where.
Democrats and Republicans engaged in the public I'm very substantive discussion about health care.
This meeting capped off -- debate that began with a similar -- nearly one year ago.
Since then every idea has been put on the tape.
Every argument has been made.
Everything there is to say about health -- has been sent.
And just about everybody has said it.
It's another time to make a decision.
About how to finally reform healthcare so that it works.
Not just for the insurance companies.
But for America's families and America's business.
Now we're both sides say they agree.
Is that the status quo is not working for the American people.
Health insurance is becoming more expensive by the day.
Families can't afford it businesses can't afford it the federal government can't afford.
Smaller businesses and individuals who don't get coverage at work are squeezed especially wrong.
An insurance company is -- ration health -- based strong who's sick and whose help.
And who can't.
That's the status -- at the system we have right now.
Democrats and Republicans agree that this is a serious problem for America and we agree that if we do nothing.
We throw our hands -- walk away it's a problem that will only grow worse nobody disputes that.
More Americans will lose their families' health insurance if they switch jobs or lose -- job.
More small businesses will be forced to choose between health care and hiring.
More insurance companies will deny people coverage who have preexisting conditions.
Or they'll drop people's coverage when they get sick.
-- -- -- And the rising cost of Medicare and Medicaid will sink our government deeper and deeper and deeper into debt.
On all of this we've heard.
So the question is.
What we do about.
On one end of the spectrum.
There are some who suggested scrapping our system of private insurers.
And replacing -- with a government run health care system.
And -- many other countries have such a system in America -- would be neither practical nor realistic.
On the other end of the spectrum there are those and this includes most Republicans in congress.
Who believe the answer is to loosen regulations on the insurance and -- for.
Whether it's state consumer protections or minimum standards for the kind of insurance they can sell.
The argument is that that will somehow lower cost.
I disagree with a -- approach.
I'm concerned that this would only give the insurance industry.
Even freer rein to raise premiums and deny care.
So I don't believe we should give government bureaucrats or insurance company bureaucrats more control over health care in America.
I believe it's time to give the American people more control.
Over their health -- and their health insurance.
I don't believe we can afford to leave life and death decisions about health care to the discretion of insurance company executives along.
I believe that doctors and nurses.
And physician's assistants like the ones in this room should be free to decide what's best for their patience.
The proposal I put forward.
Gives Americans more control over -- -- insurance.
And their health care by holding insurance companies more accountable.
It builds on the current system where most Americans get their health insurance from their employer.
If you like your plan you can keep your plant.
If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor.
I can tell you is the father of two young girls I would not want any plan that interferes.
-- the relationship between a family and they're not.
Essentially my proposal would change three things.
About the current health care system.
First it would end of the worst practices of insurance companies.
No longer would they be able to denying coverage because of preexisting condition.
No longer would they be able to drop your coverage because you got sick.
No longer will -- be able to force you to pay unlimited amounts of money out of your own pop.
No longer would -- be able arbitrarily and massively raise premiums like anthem blue cross recently -- dude in California.
Up to 39% increases in one year.
In the individual -- both practices would -- -- My proposal would give uninsured individuals and small business owners the same kind of -- is a private health insurance.
The members of congress get for themselves.
Because that's good enough for members of congress.
It's good enough for the people who today theirselves.
The reason federal employees get a good deal on health insurance is that we all participate in an insurance market.
We're insurance companies -- better coverage.
And better rates.
Because they get more customers.
It's an idea that many Republicans have embraced in the past.
Before politics intruded.
My proposal -- That if you still can't afford.
The insurance in this new marketplace even though it's gonna provide better deals for people to make him get right now on the individual marketplace.
They'll offer you tax credits to do so.
Tax credits that add up to the largest middle class tax cut for health care in history.
After all the wealthiest among us -- -- by the best insurance thirds.
And the least well off are able to get coverage through Medicare it.
What's the middle class -- -- And that's who we have to help.
Now it is absolutely true that all of this won't cost the money.
About a hundred billion dollars per year.
But most of this comes from the nearly two trillion dollars a year that America already spends.
On health care a lot of it is not spent wisely.
A lot of that money is being wasted or spent battling.
To within this plan.
Want to make sure the dollars we spend -- goal towards making insurance more affordable and more secure.
We're gonna eliminate wasteful taxpayer subsidy for currently go to insurance and pharmaceutical companies.
Seven new fee on insurance companies that stand to gain.
A lot of money and lot of profits as millions of Americans are able to buy insurance.
And we're gonna make sure that the wealthiest Americans pay their pressure.
The bottom line is our proposal is papal.
And all the new money generated in this plan.
Goes back to small businesses and middle class families who can't afford health insurance.
It would also lower prescription drug prices for seniors.
And would help train new doctors and nurses and physician's assistants to provide care for American friends.
My proposal would bring down the cost of health care for millions.
Businesses and the federal government.
We have now incorporated.
Most of the serious ideas from across the political spectrum.
About how to contain the rising cost of -- it.
I give the go after the waste and abuse in our system.
Especially in programs like Medicare.
But we do this while protecting Medicare benefits.
And extending the financial stability of the program by nearly of that.
Our cost cutting measures mirror most of the proposals in the current senate bill which reduces most people's premiums.
And brings down our deficit.
-- up to a trillion dollars over the next -- records brings down our deficit.
Those are my numbers.
Those -- the savings determined by the Congressional Budget Office.
-- Washington acronym for.
Independent repertory of congress in terms of how much stuff -- So that's our proposal.
This is where we've ended up.
It's an approach that has been debated and changed and I believe improved over last year.
Incorporates the best ideas from Democrats -- problems.
Including some of their ideas that Republicans offered during the helped -- somewhat like funding state grandson.
Medical malpractice reform curbing waste and fraud and abuse in the health care system.
A proposal also gets rid of many of the provisions that have no place in health care reform.
Provisions that were more about winning individual votes in congress than improving healthcare for all Americans.
Despite all the weird real.
All the Republican ideas we've incorporated.
Probably most Republicans in congress.
Just have a fundamental disagreement.
Over whether we should have more or less oversight of insurance companies.
And if they truly believe it less regulation would lead to higher quality.
More affordable health insurance.
Then they should vote against the proposal -- put forward.
Some also believe that we should instead.
Of doing what I'm proposing pursue a piecemeal approach to -- insurance reform.
Where we tinker around the edges of the challenge for the next few years.
Even those who acknowledged the problem the uninsured -- we just can't afford to help them right back.
Which is why the Republican proposal only covers three million uninsured Americans while we cover over 31 million.
The problem -- that approach.
Is that unless everyone has access to affordable coverage you can't prevent insurance companies from denying.
Coverage based on preexisting conditions.
You can't limit the amount families are forced to pay out of their own pockets.
The insurance reforms rests on everybody having access to coverage.
And you also don't do anything about the fact that taxpayers.
End up subsidizing the uninsured when they're forced to go to the emergency room for care to the tune of about a thousand bucks -- him.
You can get both savings if both people are still going to be emergency room.
The fact is -- help reform only works if you take care of all of these problems at once.
Now both during and after last week's summit.
Republicans in congress insisted that the only acceptable course on health care reform is to startle.
But given -- is honest and substantial differences between the parts.
About the need to regulate the insurance industry and the need to help millions of middle class families get insurance.
I don't see how another year of negotiations would help.
Moreover the insurance companies aren't starting over.
They're continuing to raise premiums.
And deny coverage as we -- For -- to start over now could simply lead to belabor it could last for another decade or even more.
The American people in the US economy just can't wait that -- -- No matter which approach your favorite.
I believe the United States congress oppose the American people a final vote on health care reform.
We have debated.
-- -- -- Not just for the past year but for decades.
Reform has already passed the house -- -- majority.
It has already passed the Senate where they supermajority.
Of sixty votes.
And now it deserves the same kind of up or down vote that was cast on welfare reform there was guest 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 -- nothing more than a simple majority.
I therefore ask leaders in -- Houses of congress to finish their work and schedule -- ball in the next few weeks.
From now until then I won't do everything in my power to make the case for reform.
And I -- -- American who wants this reform to make their voices heard as well every family every business every.
Every nurses and physician's assistant.
Make your voice -- This has been a long and wrenching debate.
It -- -- great passions.
Among the American people and the represents.
And that's because health care is a difficult issue.
It is a complicated issue.
It was easy -- would have been solved long ago.
As all of you know from experience health care can literally be an issue of life or death.
And as a result it easily lends itself -- demagoguery of political gamesmanship -- misrepresentation.
But that's not an excuse for those of us who were sent here to -- -- an excuse for us to walk where.
We can't just give up because the politics are -- I know there's been a fascination bordering on obsession in this media town.
About what passing health insurance reform would mean for the next election.
And the one after that.
-- this play.
What happened with the polls.
I will leave it to others to sift through politics.
Because that's not what this is about that's not why we're here.
There's about what reform would mean for the mother would breast cancer whose insurance company will finally have to pay for people -- There's about what reform would mean for the small business -- Will no longer have to choose between hiring more workers are offering coverage.
To the -- she hands.
There's about what reform would mean for middle class families will be able to afford health insurance for the very first time in their lives.
Get a regular check up once -- -- -- And have some security about.
Their children if they get sick.
There's about what reform would mean for all those men and women I've met over the last few years.
-- been brave enough to share their stories.
When we started our push for reform last year I talked to a young mother.
Name -- puts them she has two young children.
She thought -- beaten her breast cancer but then later discovered -- spread were balls.
She and her husband were working and had insurance but their medical bills still in of them in -- And now she spends -- worry about bad debt -- all she wants to do is spend time with her children and focus on getting one.
This should not happen in the United States of America.
And it doesn't happen.
In the -- that's what this debate is about.
About what kind of country we want to be.
But the millions of lives would be touched.
And in some cases saved by making private health insurance more secure and more portable.
At stake right now is not just our ability to solve this problem but our ability to solve any problem.
The American people want to know if it's still possible for Washington.
To look out for their interest and their future.
There waiting for -- that.
There waiting for us to leave.
As long -- hold this office I intend to provide that leadership I do not know how this plays politically.
But I know what's right.
And so I asked congress.
It's war and I look forward.
Form in the long thank you very much everybody what they've done.
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