During his weekly radio address on Sunday, May 9, 2010, President Barack Obama said that less than two months after signing the health care reform bill, the changes it includes are already helping families manage their expenses, preventing individuals who fall ill from losing their coverage, and creating tax breaks for small businesses.
“Already we are seeing a health care system that holds insurance companies more accountable and gives consumers more control,” said Obama. The overhaul of the existing $2.5 trillion health care system and gaining insurance benefits for millions of uninsured Americans was one of the president’s signature projects throughout his campaign and during his first year in office.
While acknowledging that the full impact of the massive industry reform changes will not be felt for several years, Obama said insurance companies were already dealing with a different climate. “For too long, we have been held hostage to an insurance industry that jacks up premiums and drops coverage as they please,” said Obama.
More than 4 million small businesses could already be eligible for a health care tax cut and insurers are no longer allowed to discontinue coverage for individuals if they get sick. Both benefits are especially significant in light of the economic pressures Americans have endured during the recession.
“The new health care law has also begun to end the worse practices of insurance companies,” said the President.
Although positive changes are being felt from the new legislation, Republicans continue to attack the controversial reform, which will likely be a hot topic of debate in the Congressional elections to be held in November.