September 9th, 2009
08:45 PM ET
9 years ago

Obama calls for mandatory health insurance for all Americans

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama said Wednesday that all Americans would be required by law to have health insurance under legislation he is proposing for congressional approval.

Speaking to a joint session of Congress, Obama said the requirement would be similar to mandatory auto insurance in most states and also would require businesses to either offer health-care coverage to workers or contribute to covering their costs of obtaining coverage.

"There will be a hardship waiver for those individuals who still cannot afford coverage, and 95 percent of all small businesses, because of their size and narrow profit margin, would be exempt from these requirements," Obama said. "But we cannot have large businesses and individuals who can afford coverage game the system by avoiding responsibility to themselves or their employees.

"Improving our health care system only works if everybody does their part."

Filed under: Health care • President Obama
soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. Truth-Bomb Thrower

    Can somebody please explain to me why a politician who is for AMNESTY for illegal aliens would not ALSO be for GOVERNMENT HEALTHCARE FOR ILLEGAL ALIENS?


    September 9, 2009 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  2. Lily

    so far, so good!!

    September 9, 2009 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  3. big daddy

    You do not need the gop...We can do it !!!!!!

    September 9, 2009 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  4. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Perfect. And watch, there will still be misinformation spread about what he said.

    September 9, 2009 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  5. Idiot_Pelosi

    Obummer's half truths are entertaining.

    EMPLOYERS will pick the cheapest insurance option, forcing individuals (by default) onto a crappy GOVT ran insurance plan.

    We'll have a GOVT run HC plan that is efficient and precise as the POST OFFICE. What a joke.

    September 9, 2009 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  6. Kevin in Ohio

    This guy is a joke. Blaming the RICH again. Obama makes me sick.

    September 9, 2009 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  7. Kevin in Ohio

    Fuzzy Math, at its best.

    September 9, 2009 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  8. No weapon formed against him - shall prosper

    Whoever yelled out "Liar" during his speech should be arrested....simply disrespectful and evil....I wish Obama could catch that person one on one in an empty parking lot and give him an old school beating...

    September 9, 2009 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  9. fred

    Obama is really polarizing Americans with this speech. He still isn't giving details. Nothing he's saying is anything we haven't heard him say before.

    September 9, 2009 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  10. Kevin in Ohio

    Kill the plan.

    September 9, 2009 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  11. Kevin in Ohio

    More threats.

    September 9, 2009 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  12. Lisa

    Call all those republicans out who don't support this bill. They could care less...

    September 9, 2009 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  13. Idiot_Pelosi

    Here it comes, mandatory this, mandatory that.

    How long do my tax dollars have to pay for others who are too stupid or too lazy to take resonsibility?

    No more taxes.

    Screw the liberals, let them pay for a while.

    September 9, 2009 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  14. Concerned

    President Obama keeps mentioning an option for affordable health insurance.My concern is that my paychecks each month do not even cover the bills I have to pay each month.So what is affordable? To me it would have to be free for it to be affordable. Will the government give me free healthcare and charge the next person who may pay a little less in bills.I doubt it.I wish he would concentrate on helping out the middle class and low class(Main Street) get on our feet and get out of financial problems that this economy has sunk us into beofre charging me for insurance.

    September 9, 2009 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  15. eolufemi

    His argument is strong and I can accept it as long as people have a government backed option.

    I can't imagine being forced to pay for private school for my children. The same applies here. You can't mandate something unless you're offering that something yourself.

    September 9, 2009 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  16. That One Guy

    How about I live my own life, without the government telling me what to do!!!! I'm so sick of the government telling me how to live my life!!!

    September 9, 2009 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  17. sunshine

    it's time to stop all the bickering and get down to saving America.

    September 9, 2009 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  18. charles in MI

    It sounds like a great ,plan to me, a person on medicare. I cvan't see anyone arguing with this with any credibility. Everyone should look at the facts.

    September 9, 2009 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  19. mjm

    Ever notice that the Democrats are always trying to force people to do things? It's like they have no idea what freedom is all about.

    We only mandate auto insurance for people who drive. We do not force people to have auto insurance.

    I like the part where the government gets to fine insurance companies if the don't come up with affordable insurance while the government creates a public option to compete with insurance companies.

    Can I do that in real life? I want to fine my competitor.

    I also love the part where they create a pilot program to examine Tort reform but not actually do Tort reform.

    This plan, this speech, is nothing new. It's exactly what we said "no" to in the town hall meetings.

    September 9, 2009 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  20. AJ

    So now instead of mandating a public option, Obama will make sure that insurance companies continue to gouge the public but now they will have the force of law behind them while doing so. After all this bickering, Obama will give in to Republicans and make the rich richer while the middle class lose jobs and income. As a lifelong democrat I think Obama has to be the worst president in my lifetime and will do more dmarge than even G.W. Bush. What a disgrace!

    September 9, 2009 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  21. cesar

    Hey im required to have car ins. If I get caught driving without it I get fined so whats the difference.

    September 9, 2009 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  22. diondra

    being a person who is 24, working part time, devorced with two children i am forced to believe that Obama's plan has to work; i have two children and can not afford heathcare and do not have it me or my children i have had to have sergury last months and the bills are arriving i think small details are holding up progress i Know some people know what he says is right but are held to thier own stupidity. THE PEOPLE NEED HELP

    September 9, 2009 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  23. J.C. - Independent & Insured

    Comparing the mandatory basic coverage of an individual to that of a car is a great analogy, because this individual without coverage will end up costing everyone more at ER.

    September 9, 2009 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  24. Truth-Bomb Thrower

    .....which is essentially a new tax. If you can't afford or don't want to buy private insurance (assuming any exist after the government takeover), then you will have to get it from where?..........THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT!! It's just a new sneaky way for the federal government to squeeze more revenue from the American people. It's just another way for the politicians and bureaucrats in D.C. to gain more control over our lives. It's Marxism.

    September 9, 2009 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  25. A Democrat of 51 years who has finally got smart to their follishness.

    Amen to "NO TO ILLEGALS". If they want sonething for nothing then they need to enter this country legally. If not they are crinimals and need to be imprisoned.

    September 9, 2009 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
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