July 22nd, 2009
06:55 PM ET
12 years ago

White House releases Obama excerpts

(CNN) - The White House has released excerpts of President Obama's opening remarks at Wednesday's prime time press conference:

Read excerpts after the jump:

Excerpts of the President's Opening Remarks at Tonight's News Conference

-As Prepared for Delivery-

That is why I’ve said that even as we rescue this economy from a full-blown crisis, we must rebuild it stronger than before. And health insurance reform is central to that effort.

This is not just about the 47 million Americans who have no health insurance. Reform is about every American who has ever feared that they may lose their coverage if they become too sick, or lose their job, or change their job. It’s about every small business that has been forced to lay off employees or cut back on their coverage because it became too expensive. And it’s about the fact that the biggest driving force behind our federal deficit is the skyrocketing cost of Medicare and Medicaid.

So let me be clear: if we do not control these costs, we will not be able to control our deficit. If we do not reform health care, your premiums and out-of-pocket costs will continue to skyrocket. If we do not act, 14,000 Americans will continue to lose their health insurance every single day. These are the consequences of inaction. These are the stakes of the debate we’re having right now.

I realize that with all the charges and criticisms being thrown around in Washington, many Americans may be wondering, “What’s in this for me? How does my family stand to benefit from health insurance reform?”

Tonight I want to answer those questions. Because even though Congress is still working through a few key issues, we already have agreement on the following areas:

If you already have health insurance, the reform we’re proposing will provide you with more security and more stability. It will keep government out of health care decisions, giving you the option to keep your insurance if you’re happy with it. It will prevent insurance companies from dropping your coverage if you get too sick. It will give you the security of knowing that if you lose your job, move, or change your job, you will still be able to have coverage. It will limit the amount your insurance company can force you to pay for your medical costs out of your own pocket. And it will cover preventive care like check-ups and mammograms that save lives and money.

If you don’t have health insurance, or are a small business looking to cover your employees, you’ll be able to choose a quality, affordable health plan through a health insurance exchange – a marketplace that promotes choice and competition Finally, no insurance company will be allowed to deny you coverage because of a pre-existing medical condition.

I have also pledged that health insurance reform will not add to our deficit over the next decade – and I mean it.

I understand how easy it is for this town to become consumed in the game of politics – to turn every issue into running tally of who’s up and who’s down. I’ve heard that one Republican strategist told his party that even though they may want to compromise, it’s better politics to “go for the kill.” Another Republican Senator said that defeating health reform is about “breaking” me.

So let me be clear: This isn’t about me. I have great health insurance, and so does every Member of Congress. This debate is about the letters I read when I sit in the Oval Office every day, and the stories I hear at town hall meetings…This debate is not a game for these Americans, and they cannot afford to wait for reform any longer. They are counting on us to get this done. They are looking to us for leadership. And we must not let them down. We will pass reform that lowers cost, promotes choice, and provides coverage that every American can count on. And we will do it this year.


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Re: Graham Voting For Sotomayor

    Don't let Lindsey Graham fool you. He's voting for Sonia Sotomayor because he knows that the real fight will be with President Obama's next appointee. He couldn't vote against this appointee and the next one, so he fell on the easy sword.

    The battle starts with the next one, and I for one am not buying Grahams' vote. A snake is still a snake, no matter what the disguise, and he's the biggest snake around. He didn't have a choice. The next appointee is going to be the battle of all battles. Trust me.

    July 22, 2009 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  2. Mike

    "This isn’t about me. I have great health insurance, and so does every Member of Congress."

    Great. If the proposed government-provided option is so wonderful then, let's add an amendment that requires the President and Congress to use the government option themselves. Put your money where your mouth is.

    No? Didn't think so.

    July 22, 2009 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  3. kas

    He is a dangerous and LYING ideologue . I will work dilligently with all I have to defeat this Marxist jerk.

    July 22, 2009 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  4. Rogerd

    So why do we need this presser? There is nothing new in the released excerpts that we haven't already heard 10 times in the last 7 days. When the administration learns something new from the framers of this bill, maybe they can have a presser to let the rest of the country know. Until the prez has more details and facts, he should stay away from interupting our regular programming!

    July 22, 2009 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  5. aware

    It is all about you and your lust for power BO. But obviously transformational leadership is not your gift.

    You have no plan let alone one with the wisdom, integrity, moral center and ethical core that Americans can believe in! 🙁

    Stop the blame game that is the trademark of victimhood!

    July 22, 2009 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  6. byaran

    Wake Up America This is your Chance.Dont Let The Republicans Stop You, They Done Enough Arm Already To Your Great Country

    July 22, 2009 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  7. cat

    Did they release the answers ahead of time as well? In response to the pre-arranged questions? Seriously this is not a news or press conference but an infommericial, and I bet a really hard sell of one...
    I for one am already sick of the pitchman

    July 22, 2009 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  8. Peter

    Thats a wise leader talking! someone who have America at heart! some one who have lived poverty and raised-up from it. It makes me sad to see people opposing a good helthcare reform plan for political points.

    July 22, 2009 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  9. John from California

    I'm retired living on a pension and my 401K savings and even though I saved 20% the last 18 years at work, health care costs are rising so fast that I'm not sure how we'll afford it later in life.

    The President is rightly concerned with the biggest runaway costs in our society and it's high time that we as a country fix this problem.

    There is no reason why doctors can't go on a salary and work for a system of non-profit medical facilities. All of the scare tactics are designed to keep a system of insurers and medical providers making exorbitant salaries while the rest of us work all our lives and end up broke or in debt because of run-away medical costs.

    I fully support the President and I hope that all "thinking" Americans see through the opposition propaganda.

    July 22, 2009 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  10. Jocely Emile

    I support President Obama plan 100%. I trust his judgement. If I was the President I will be pushing for every policy he is asking for.

    I want to see every American to be succesfull as a whole not 33% of those who can do for themself.

    Jocely Emile

    New York

    July 22, 2009 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  11. Save America

    You liar.You are a liar. They will not keep their insurance.If they sneeze they will lose their insurance.
    obama is not interested in people have insurance.He and his thugs are only interested in CONTROLING HEALTH INSURANCE. It is a BILLION dollar business and he wants to control it while giving him more control of the American people.
    America please read it for yourself.Read anything you can get your hands on.
    He needs to be impeached.

    July 22, 2009 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  12. Matt

    "This isn’t about me. I have great health insurance, and so does every Member of Congress." He actually said that and probably still wonders why he got the Elitist rap.

    Thats the point Barack if you are too simple not to see it. You have great health insurance and medical coverage that I and everyone else is paying for, the same is true for the idiots in congress.

    If your medical insurance paid for by us is so good why is it not available to every American? The flipside is that if your plan for us is so stellar then why are you and your family not signing up for it? Why is it good enough for me and my family but not good enough for your family?

    If you want to talk the talk then walk the walk.

    July 22, 2009 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  13. Palin owns Obama

    This guy doesnt even have a US birth certificate! Hes a terrorist muslim! He needs to go back to Kenya! Take your uppity wife and your two nappy headed daughters with u! And airforce 1 aint gonna take you there on my tax dollars! Im a very intellegent Palin supporter AND I VOTE!

    July 22, 2009 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  14. sdjohnson

    great press conference!

    July 22, 2009 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  15. Reality

    What a relief to hear this gentleman speak, after the butchery done to the spoken word in the last 8 yaers.

    July 22, 2009 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  16. Barbara-California

    Yeah, Barack, you and the other members of Congress have said that Medicare recipiants would have the same coverage as you, then they changed the Congressional Insurance company to give you all better coverage then we who pay taxes and have all our lives. Now you want to cut us out of the loop, you still want to have your fine insurance coverage, but we on Medicare will not have a plan, we will be offered "suicide"......I have read the plan changes through a conservative website and it is not pretty!

    Bah Humbug to you Mr. Obama!

    July 22, 2009 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |