Yesterday, President Obama’s speech concerning national healthcare reform urged Congress to come together and end their bickering. He stated that American lawmakers are close to enacting the healthcare reform measures which will greatly affect the health insurance system. He stated that it would not only improve the healthcare of those that are already covered; it would also create more options for the over 40 million Americans who are uninsured.
Reform will be an overhaul of the current healthcare system, which costs $2.5 trillion to maintain, and it will cost only $900 billion over ten years without increasing the deficit. Obama stated that such an overhaul will not only cut costs and improve the overall quality of healthcare, but it will also protect consumers by regulating insurance providers.
The speech was met with jeers from Republican members of Congress, intent on stalling healthcare reform, who laughed when the President stated that “there remain some significant details to be ironed out.” Republican Congressman Joe Wilson even shouted “you lie” when Obama stated that reform would not exclude immigrants who reside in the country illegally.
However, President Obama promised he would consider Republican ideas, which encourage fostering more competition among health insurance companies in order to reduce costs. He stated it would not be a deal breaker if the final bill were to exclude the controversial public option, a healthcare reform measure which has come under a surge of criticism since it first appeared.
“The public option is only a means to that end — and we should remain open to other ideas that accomplish our ultimate goal,” he said.