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Obama Lays Out Sweeping US Healthcare Reform

Posted June. 13, 2009 07:28,   


U.S. President Barack Obama has begun sweeping healthcare reform, one of the most difficult challenges his administration faces.

His plan is to eliminate a blind spot in the healthcare system by introducing public health insurance in the form of a cooperative and reduce premiums by having public and private insurance companies compete with each other. The new system will be launched in mid-October, according to the U.S. administration.

In a town hall at Southwest High School in Green Bay, Wisconsin, President Obama said Thursday, “Every day in this country, more and more Americans are forced to worry about not just getting well, but whether they can afford to get well,” adding, “Doing nothing about the cost of healthcare is no longer an option. The status quo is unsustainable.”

Asking critics of his plan about their alternatives, he said, “What else do we say to all the families who spend more on health care than on housing or on food? What do we tell those businesses that are choosing between closing their doors and letting their workers go?”

“If we wait, it’s never going to happen.”

The majority Democratic Party has begun deliberation on Obama’s plan with the aim of signing it into law before mid-October. The Republican Party and certain Democrats, however, oppose the plan on the grounds that it will snowball the budget deficit and cripple private insurance.

With large insurance companies and medical organizations pouring a huge amount of lobbying funds to block the reform, Obama will visit the American Medical Association to persuade doctors who are against his plan.

About 15 percent of the U.S. population, or 45 million Americans, lack health insurance.