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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

From the White House: Health Reform Update

Dear Friend,

As you read this, we are closer than ever to passing comprehensive health insurance reform that benefits American families and small businesses. Despite all the back and forth in the news right now, it is important to understand just how far we've come in this challenging process.

That's why I'm holding a press conference tonight at 8pm ET, and writing to let everyone know where we are, what's ahead, and why health insurance reform is so important.

Let me be clear: although Congress is still debating parts of the legislation we have achieved critical consensus on several key areas:


If you already have health insurance: reform will provide you with more security and stability. It will limit your own out of pocket costs and prevent your insurance company from dropping your coverage if you get too sick. You'll also have affordable insurance options if you lose or change your job. And it will cover preventive care like check-ups and mammograms that save lives and money.

If you don't have health insurance: you will finally have guaranteed access to quality, affordable health care, and you can choose the plan that best suits your family's needs. And no insurance company will be allowed to deny you coverage because of a pre-existing medical condition.


Now, I realize that the last few miles of any race are the hardest to run, but we can't stop now. There's no dispute about it: we cannot control our long-term fiscal health as a nation without health insurance reform. American families and small businesses understand that the health insurance status quo is taking away those things that they value most about health care. The stability and security that comes with knowing that you can get the treatment you need, when you need it. Without reform, we are consigning our children to a future of skyrocketing premiums and crushing deficits.

We have to seize this opportunity and pass health insurance reform this year. You can help by forwarding this email to your family and friends and letting them know what's at stake in this debate.

Thank you,
Barack Obama

P.S. Tune in to tonight's press conference on health insurance reform at 8pm ET on WhiteHouse.gov.






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36 comments:

ellen abbott said...

I'm interested to know what they consider affordable health insurance. Anything more than a couple of hundred a month will not be affordable and many people will not even be able to afford that. Hmmm...food or insurance, rent or insurance, school supplies for my kids or insurance? My husband and I are self employed artists and never know from one week to another or one month to another how much money we will have. We get paid for a job and if we don't have another job waiting, how long will this check have to tide us over? The system as it stands now would cost us $1000 - $1200 a month! A month! We never have that kind of extra money and so do not, have never had, insurance. Fortunately, to date we are healthy. The few ailments we have due to increasing age, we manage to pay for so far. And the sad thing is, that because we pay our own doctor bills, we get charged more than the insurance company pays because the insurance cos wrangle cheaper fees.

Hit 40 said...

I hope ellen's luck holds out. My luck did not about 3 years ago now. I found out I have a little something... that costs a lot to keep under control. It's a disease that I did nothing to get. I have always always taken care of myself, exercised, ate well, etc. Never ever any drugs. But..

then I got something. It was not cancer. But, cancer is a good comparison. We all know someone who got cancer who did absolutely nothing to want/ to deserve... having it.

If I lost my job, I would be just absolutely screwed. I would not be able to afford my drugs. I am crying a little thinking about it. I don't think any one should ever be in this position.

How awful to be sick, to lose your job because your sick, and then lose your insurance because you have no job... you get the awful circle of ....

How cruel if someone does not want to pitch in for all of us to have access to medical insurance.

Brian Miller said...

i read this a bit ago. caught little glimpses on the news and Yahoo. i do hope they pass reform in some form. i know there will be concessions i am sure.

i for one could use the help. actually there would be four of us, but there are many more in worse shape. intrigued to see...

Beth said...

Amen! Watching him right now... I don't meet many people who support our president in Georgia (I do! My family does!).

Joanna said...

I have my fingers crossed that Obama can convince America of the importance of health care reform. As a Canadian I can tell you that our family of three enjoys complete coverage for $96 a month. Surely a country blessed with the resources of the USA can provide medical care for all its citizens.

Maggie May said...

Reading some of these comments brings a lump to my throat.
No one knows when serious illness will strike and we have had enough of it in our family. Thank God for our Health service, even if we all grumble sometimes.

I sincerely hope that USA gets some kind of affordable reform. No one should have to worry about getting old & sick and not being able to afford medicine in a country that is supposed to be the richest in the world.
Fingers crossed.

Lori ann said...

At the very least preventative care should be avalible to everyone. I am hoping for reform, but I wonder what affordable is going to mean.

Abe Lincoln said...

I say it should be totally free. If our government can spend trillions on wars we can spend trillions on free health care.

Audrey is on Pick a Peck of Pixels. You saw her with green peas all over her face. Now, see her at 9 with her hair blowing in the wind. Be part of history. Become a Follower or leave a comment. Tell you friends. Link up. Pick a Peck of Pixels

Dave King said...

That sounds to me like common sense, but I'm really in no position to comment. Good luck!

I_am_Tulsa said...

I think American health insurance needs a change...period.

Why is it that I get better health care in Japan?

I pay about 1,000 to 1,800 dollars a year (it all depends on how much you make!) for health insurance.

If I catch a cold, I go to the doctors office and get a prescription for meds and it only costs about 15 to 200 dollars total. Plus the medicine woks better and faster than the over the counter cold medicines!

This same insurance allows women to stay in the hospital for several days after child birth...so you and your baby are not rushed out!

There has to be a way to make things affordable but I must admit I am glad that there is finally someone in office who is willing to try!

Carol @ TheWritersPorch said...

When I lived in Tennessee, I had Tenn-Care which costs me $ 54.00 a month as an individual who was self- employed. Of course when I moved back to Mississippi, I had a a car wreck that left me disabled so I was on medicare.After Eric and I married I was put on Champ Va because he is a 100% disabled Veteran. It is OUTSTANDING insurance. It pays 80% and 90% if I use Wesley one of two hospitals here as they are partnered with the VA.With ALL the medical stuff I've had going on lately, I can't imagine being without insurance!

Reya Mellicker said...

My fingers are crossed.

Sarah Laurence said...

Good of you to pass on the word! Yet another reason I love Obama. Everyone deserves health insurance as much as education.

I very much appreciated the National Health when I lived in the UK. It was not more bureaucratic at all. You just go in and see a doctor with no co-pay or insurance forms - bliss! My husband's life was saved at age 4 with open heart surgery on NHS in the UK. The only thing that really didn't work was dentistry there.

Nancy said...

Let's hope this happens! Right now I'm so disgusted with our elected officials - they're still bleating about Obama's birth certificate! They can't seem to get anything done. After all, they voted in the most expensive and comprehensive pension and health care package for themselves, why worry about us?

Gaston Studio said...

Since I collect Social Security, I now have Medicare, thank God! But when I was forced into retirement in Atlanta and couldn't get another job, I was out of work and out of health insurance for almost 5 years. Every day, I prayed I wouldn't get seriously ill or have an accident; it was bad enough financially just trying to make it without swallowing my pride and asking for help from my kids... which I refused to do. Had I gotten ill, it would have been disastrous.
Hope everyone is paying attention and will do the right thing.

Jane

Trish and Rob MacGregor said...

A good place to start would be to get rid of insurance companies, remove profit from health care, and extend medicare to everyone.

Diana said...

We were in much the same boat as Ellen until quite recently.

Thank goodness for NYs Child Health Plus, our daughter is covered for $30/month. My husband and I are currently uninsured, gratefully healthy. His new employer will pay his in another month, we have to cover mine, at about $350/month, which is a stretch for us...

It's time for major change in this country...

Man of Roma said...

I really hope Obama's reform will pass. I read here (in Italian newspapers) that the problem is cultural, it is the problem of the average American person who is afraid of a reform he judges 'socialist', and who thinks this reform will make all bureaucratic - I understand this risk - and destroy the American health system (considered the best in the world). He also thinks that here in Europe people still go to shamans in comparison (LOL). If this is true, the average American person should though think that poor people cannot be abandoned to a sort of social darwinism, that in other parts of the world health systems work fine, and and that tourists are damn scared of falling ill whenever they come to the USA.
This is not acceptable. Great America deserves more. But my doubt is: will Obama convince the average American? Isn't this 'culture' too enrooted?

Kim Kasch said...

Missed the reform forum - anyone hear it?

Deb said...

Thank you for posting this. So many blogs have postings regarding health care reform - I wish and hope that the politicians listen to the people, think about the people and in the end do what is right for the people. I am praying, hoping, crossing my fingers that a TRUE solution is found ~ soon. Take care.

Gledwood said...

The American healthcare system seems utterly NUTS to us over here. I'd rather have a "socialist" system like our (British) one any day of the week!

lakeviewer said...

Hi folks,
I'm glad there is a lot of chatter out there concerning health reform in America. From the responses of those of you in other countries, I'm sure we Americans would love to learn from your point of view. Most of what we know is filtered by two things: 1. our media, which has become really one voice, controlled by big advertising dollars; and by our attitude that nobody is better out there than we in America. This last piece is so ingrained that even after we have traveled or experienced life in other countries we are still convinced that we are the best there is. Period. Not humble, not wise, not logical. But, there is no arguing on this point.

We know our health care is in a shamble for average people. The poor are covered by a program called Medicaid, in most circumstances. Children are covered in most states through a single payer minimum premium. Those who are employed by government entities and big corporations are covered. Who is left? Ninety percent of Americans who are not working, such as seniors, those who are self employed, those in rural areas, those working for mom and pop's businesses.

I don't have a pat answer here. I know that for the first time in our lives, hubby and I are paying for our health insurance. We have worked all our lives never really knowing about the pain of paying for health care. Now, at a time when more things can go wrong with our bodies, we have to dedicate a healthy junk of our budget to our health care insurance. Our insurance has a maximum amount per year, per person. So, last December, when my dental bridge broke and necessitated a new one, the cost was all mine; the insurance had already paid for other things. So, two-thousand dollars later, I am thinking this is crazy. What if I had an accident, and I needed facial reconstruction, including dental implants? At that point all my other insurances would have kicked in, including Medicare which covers major medical and hospitalization, up to a certain limit. How do we know if we are covered adequately? We do not. We cannot predict how much things will cost.

I have to add that most seniors my age have had to purchase additional insurance as we have. The cost for this extra insurance? A whopping $4000 a year per person.

If you want to calculate how much that is in terms of an average income, than know that social security, which is what most seniors receive in their old age, averages $14,000 a year.

We need health care reform.

sallymandy said...

This is such an important discussion. I've kind of had my head in the sand because it hits so close to home and I don't want to get really angry and upset. Our health insurance in Montana is about $800 a month for a catastrophic policy, with a $5000 deductible. It's ludicrous.

Thank you for addressing this, R. I know I should be more informed. It just makes me so mad.

Room Service ~ Decorating 101 said...

Something has to be done...I willing to look and listen to everything. Thanks for visiting today. smiles

Cynthia said...

Good for the President! I wish the plan would go further...thanks for publishing this. <3

potsoc said...

Despite it's shortcomings and provincial variations our Canadian universal health plan leaves no one out, even refugees and immigrants are covered after three months residence.
In Québec the provincial plan covers drugs as well for 65 and over and those whose employers have no health plans; it costs 835$cnd A YEAR and pays 80% of prescription costs.
Loto Québec's profits go toward health expenses and, of course, a sizable chunk of our tax dollars.

david mcmahon said...

This is a question I've been following very closely.

Reasons to be Cheerful 1,2,3 said...

Let's hope.

Jennifer said...

I just had a conversation with someone who believes that the bill ready to be proposed in the House requires seniors to receive counseling on ending their lives! She believes she will be required to choose not to receive artificial hydration or nutrition - that "they" want all the old people dead. Well... aside from this person listening to far too much Limbaugh and Ingram... the dicussion on health care reform is made more complicated by fear. I am a small business owner, suffering from the recession and spending $15,000/year on health insurance (for 3 people). And I never go to the doctors!

Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

http://bit.ly/1xryAC
A old college friend who had moved to the US recently died from leukaemia - her experiences of the US health system were directly attributable to her death. In the link above she talks about the US healthcare system in a column she used to write.
When she was diagnosed with leukaemia she found she and her husband couldn't afford her treatment (a marrow transplant). In desperation her family arranged for her to return to SA where she was able to get the transplant at a third of the price - but she couldn't afford the cost of the chemo she needed in the US - the only way they could afford it was for her husband to become unemployed - which he did so they could claim social benefits. For her, everything happened too late and her illness bankrupted them entirely. A tragic indictment.

Lianne said...

As a Canadian, part of my cultural identity is wrapped up in the blanket of universal health care. Over the years, various politicians have alluded to the possibility of a more "American" health care system, alway to the detriment of their political careers. People being forced into bankruptcy due to illnes is something that needs to be addressed and change needs to come. America is a wonderful country. It's citizens deserve nothing but the best. I will be following the developments closely and hope common sense prevails.

Thanks for finding my blog and your lovely comment. I look forward to keeping up-to-date with you too.

Renee said...

Our families would be in the poor house if we lived in the States.

Rosaria I knew that you would be praying for me and having my family in mind.

Thank you dear friend.

Love Renee xoxo

Boots said...

found this this morning.
http://money.cnn.com/2009/07/24/news/economy/health_care_reform_obama.fortune/index.htm

the CNN is finding that the 2000 page document IS going to restrict our care!

MissKris said...

Hi...just coming by to thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment! I'm ashamed to say I'm not sure who the "Carol" is you referred to, but I'm glad you moseyed on over! Always nice to hear from a fellow Oregonian. I must admit I'm getting so tired of the government agendas being crammed down our throats that I wish I could tune it all out but I did one thing recently I've never ever done before. I feel so passionately about this health reform issue, I emailed our Congressman! HA! I haven't heard back from his office but I'm sure he's hearing from a lot of first-time email writers right about now. Enjoy your day...hopefully your temps in the PO area are easier to tolerate than those in Portland right now. No AC in our house and it's an oven at 10 am. Ugh.

Hit 40 said...

I think that I caught all the comments. Most seemed very positive. I agree with the point we can afford billions for war, but not health care? Just nuts

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