On Wednesday night, September 9, President Obama laid out his much discussed plan for health care reform. Building on the current system, the four-year, $900 billion plan addresses the three sweeping problems of the current system–insure the uninsured, security and stability to the insured, and ebb the rising costs.
Insurance companies will no longer be able to drop, reduce, or place caps on coverage offered, will be required to provide preventive care, and to limit the out-of-pocket expenses.
The plan will also create an insurance exchange, giving Americans bargaining power in the health insurance landscape, ensuring more affordable choices. For those who still cannot afford health insurance, Obama’s plan makes available need-based tax credits.
Lastly, the plan requires that all be insured. Individuals wil now be required to carry basic health insurance, while businesses will be required to either offer plans or help cover the costs. The President also promised to protect Medicare and Medicaid.
The $900 billion plan will be paid for by re-directing current spending, namely from Medicaid and Medicare. The President, addressing a widespread concern, promised to not add to the current deficit and included budget-cut contingencies.
In his speech, President Obama addressed the false claims and criticisms that circulated across airwaves and in town hall meetings throughout August. Calling for unity and cooperation, President Obama said that he will continue to work with both sides of the aisle, but addiing that he “will not waste time with those who have made the calculation that it’s better politics to kill this plan than to improve it.”
photo: President Obama with Senator Ted Kennedy, a great supporter of healtcare reform