February 24th, 2009
09:49 PM ET
9 years ago

Obama calls for 'historic commitment' to health care

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Saying the United States can no longer afford to put health-care reform on hold, President Barack Obama said his budget proposal will include a "historic commitment" to it.

Watch: "Health care cannot wait," says Obama

"I suffer no illusions that this will be an easy process. It will be hard," Obama said in his first address to a joint session of Congress. "But I also know that nearly a century after Teddy Roosevelt first called for reform, the cost of our health care has weighed down our economy and the conscience of our nation long enough."

Obama said he will be assembling representatives of business, labor, doctors and healthcare providers next week to begin discussing the reforms.

Filed under: Obama address
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. geoff thomas madison nj

    there is only one efficient equitable and quality solution: Single Payer health care thru HR 676.
    Anything else is enriching insurers while cheating consumers and frustrating health care professionals.
    Ask your congressman to co sponsor HR 676 immediately- if they won't now you'll know they're " not into you"( but they sure like those big private insurers bucks come election time)

    Single Payer is the way- Private Health Insurance Must Go!

    February 24, 2009 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  2. aliou FL

    At long last the health care is on the center table. We love you Mr. President.

    February 24, 2009 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  3. CJ

    This is an utmost priority. While Americans are suffering due to loss of jobs, my family suffers too as we pay over $600.00 monthly for health insurance, and it takes any money that we could possibly save. We had resolved ourselves to work til we die as we have had to use savings and 401K just to survive from losing manufacturing jobs which have been sent overseas, but Barack offers hope, hope that maybe someday we can have affordable health care, maybe we can afford to utilize preventive care, because right now, we cannot utilize this health insurance for anything but emergencies, because every year it goes up at least 3% or more. Unless you are an American responsible for your own health care, you have absolutely no idea the expense those of us have who try to maintain some sort of health care. Go Barack go, we love you!!!!

    February 24, 2009 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  4. Henry Miller, Cary, NC

    There's nothing wrong with American health care that getting government the hell out of it won't solve. There's nothing the idiot politicians are better at than wasting other peoples' money and telling them it's for their own good.

    February 24, 2009 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  5. SueB

    The more involved government has become in health care, the more expensive it has become. It's time for the government to back off and let the free market regulate health care costs. We don't need more government reforms to send the costs soaring ever higher!

    February 25, 2009 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  6. Eileen

    Why did the republicans not stand and applaud the 11 million children who will now avail of health care under this brand new President?? I would have thought that healthly children were part of their Family Values theme? A civilized nation is judged by how it cares for the vulnerable such as our children – education is no good to sick kids!!

    February 25, 2009 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  7. J.P.

    "President Barack Obama said his budget proposal will include a 'historic commitment' to (health care 'reform')."

    Unintended consequence: complete brain-drain in healthcare

    Millions of the best and brightest minds that would otherwise head to a career in medicine, in any of its many capacities, will instead go to law school or business school.

    Doubt me? Would you suffer through the grueling years of med school and residency, incurring hundreds of thousands of dollars in med school debt, only to go into practice and then be told by government bureaucrat weenies how to practice medicine? I know I wouldn't, and I can't think of many who would.

    This is a simple exercise in human behavior, rewards and personal motivation... when government uses unconstitutional authority to illegally confiscate the reward, people have no motivation to try harder.

    February 25, 2009 01:11 am at 1:11 am |
  8. Steve in Las Vegas,NV

    Healthcare is another very big priority as well. The cost for health insurance is beyond most, especially to those who have lost their job.

    Without very affordable health insurance, the time will come when the only place that can treat you will be an emergency room, and soon they will be overrun with those without insurance or the means to pay for their treatment.

    February 25, 2009 01:36 am at 1:36 am |
  9. Red State Mama

    How fortunate we are to have a President who encourages, inspires and delivers so much hope. The country has had such low morale for so long. It's good that our leader is like a coach who says I know you hurt all over, you've been knocked down & trampled, yes we are behind but I have a plan and if you'll join me, we'll get there. I believe him because I choose to. I'm ready to follow someone with this kind of energy out of the pit. As a small business owner health care REFORM is a major component for our progress. As an individual, I want to feel like more than an invoice or a means for billable services. The insurance company is more important to my doctors than me. I believe President Obama will stand up to the outrageous practices of insurance companies that in my opinion aren't too far removed from those of Wall Street.

    February 25, 2009 01:46 am at 1:46 am |