February 25th, 2009
05:26 AM ET
5 years ago

Obama calls for health-care reform in 2009

President Obama tells Congress Tuesday night: I have no illusions this will be an easy process.
President Obama tells Congress Tuesday night: I have no illusions this will be an easy process.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Obama pledged Tuesday night to cure Americans from what he called "the crushing cost of health costs," saying the country could not afford to put health-care reform on hold.

"This is a cost that now causes a bankruptcy in America every 30 seconds. By the end of the year, it could cause 1.5 million Americans to lose their homes," Obama said in his speech to a joint session of Congress.

Obama pointed to the increasing number of uninsured and rapidly rising health-care premiums, which he said was one reason small business closed their doors and corporations moved overseas.

Obama's prescription for health-care reform included making "the largest investment ever" in preventive care, rooting out Medicare fraud and investing in electronic health records and new technology in an effort to reduce errors, bring down costs, ensure privacy and save lives.

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Filed under: Health care • Obama address