July 15th, 2009
11:18 AM ET
7 years ago

Obama praises first health care bill passage

(CNN) - President Obama released a statement Wednesday on a congressional committee's passing of legislation to overhaul health care.

Statement by the President on the Health Care Reform Legislation Passed Today by the Senate HELP Committee

"Today, thanks to the unyielding passion and inspiration provided by Senator Edward Kennedy, the HELP committee he chairs has produced a proposal that will finally lower health care costs, provide better care for patients, and ensure fair treatment of consumers by the insurance industry.

Like the legislation produced by the House of Representatives, this proposal would offer Americans quality, affordable health care that is there when they need it. No longer will insurance companies be able to deny coverage based on a pre-existing medical condition. No longer will Americans have to worry about their health insurance if they lose their job, change their job, or open a new business.

This proposal will bring down costs, expand coverage, and increase choice. Through a health insurance exchange, families and small businesses will be able to compare prices and quality so that they can choose the health care plan that best suits their needs. Among the choices that would be available in the exchange would be a public health insurance option that would make health care affordable by increasing competition, providing more choices, and keeping the insurance companies honest.

This proposal would also control rising costs by investing in preventive care and wellness programs, rooting out waste and fraud in the system, and changing the incentives that automatically equate the most expensive care with the best care.
When this proposal is combined with other proposals that the Senate Finance Committee is working on, it's estimated that health reform will cover 97% of all Americans.

The HELP committee's success should give us hope, but it should not give us pause. It should instead provide the urgency for both the House and Senate to finish their critical work on health reform before the August recess. I want to commend Senator Kennedy, Senator Dodd, as well as Senators Harkin, Mikulski, Bingaman, and Murray on the leadership they've shown and the foundation they've laid to reform our health care system."

Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (82 Responses)
  1. Randolph Carter

    Joe, Wouldn't the 10th man just use some kind of loophole to get away with paying around $2 or so? Maybe his other wallet was in the Cayman Islands. Have a nice day!

    July 15, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  2. Nsikan Jacob

    Scared about public option in health care? Yeah, same way some of us are scared about public education but it works. If we had only private schools, some of us wouldn't be where we are today. There are many of us homeschooling our kids or sending them to private schools. Lets have same options in health care.

    July 15, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  3. European-American

    Have any of you been to an emergency room lately? Government healthcare will be sooo much worse. Are all you liberals really to stupid to see that?
    I'm sorry, that was a dumb question, you all buy into global warming too.

    July 15, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  4. AmercianGangsta

    Dutch – a new report states that Obama wants to turn the country into one big commune and take property ownership away from everybody.

    I'm sure you would support this, too.

    Lemmings think they can fly, but they just fall off the cliff.

    July 15, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  5. Kelby In Houston, TX

    Our current healthcare system is bankrupting the citizens of America.
    The problem is that we have a healthcare industry and a person's individual health is for sale in America.
    The Healthcare industry in America is not focused on health, it focused on profit.
    The Insurance companies are not focused on our health. They are trying to stay in business and they are trying to maintain profit. All they care about is continuing to profit off OF us. And they are willing to bleed us dry.
    We don't have to worry about the healthcare lobby getting to our elected officials. THEY ALREADY HAVE!
    Universal healthcare is not going diminish quality or limit access, it will cut into the profits of Health insurance companies and they will fight tooth and nail becaus all they want is the money.
    The opponents of Universal Healthcare, NOT EVEN THE POSTERS ON THIS BOARD, can provide a logical argument why we should not have Universal healthcare.
    And you naysayers say that the Obama supporter "drank the cool aid"
    For the life of all liberals and democrats, we can not figure out how conservatives and republicans have convinced a portion of The People to vote against their own self interest.

    July 15, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  6. Fair is Fair

    Candy West Virginia July 15th, 2009 11:46 am ET

    Riddle – Why would republicans not want a gov funded health care plan that will provide competition for the insurance companies?

    Answer – Because the Obama adminiatration has already strong-armed medical providers into accepting lower payments for medicare and medicaid payments. They won't do this out of the goodness of their hearts, Candy. They will shift the costs to holders of private insurance. This will in turn cause the private insurance companies to raise their rates – thus making them even less competitive versus the government funded plan. More citizens will thereby be forced into the government plan – forcing more cost shifting, forcing more into the government plan. The proverbial snowball effect. Eventually, all that's left is the government plan – which of course is the motive to begin with.

    July 15, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  7. Randolph Carter

    Independent in Virginia: Who the heck can afford healthcare without insurance these days? My wife and I do pretty well, but honestly, my wife needed a very complicated emergency procedure a few months ago. If we didn't have health insurance we would have lost our house. If she didn't get the procedure she would have died. Nice system. Have a nice day!

    July 15, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
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