The U.S. spends more than $2 trillion on medical care every year, and offers the best medical technology in the world. Americans have their choice of top doctors and hospitals, and our national investment in scientific research has paid off handsomely. Diseases that were once life-threatening are now curable; conditions that once devastated are now treatable. Yet, the benefits of the American healthcare system come at a price that an increasing number of individuals and families, employers and employees, and public and private providers cannot afford.
The healthcare crisis has reached a critical point. Its not just that 47 million Americans are uninsured. Its that those who do have health insurance are struggling to pay for it because healthcare premiums have risen nearly 90% in the past six years, four times faster than wages. You see it in your profession every day, as you treat patients who worry about whether theyll be able to afford the bills.
For too many years, weve seen healthcare plans offered up with great fanfare and promise, only to be crushed under the weight of Washington politics. We cannot afford another one of those years. If elected president, I will work hard to bring together businesses, the medical community and members of both parties around a comprehensive solution to this crisis.
I pledge that I will sign a healthcare plan into law by the end of my first term in office. My plan will guarantee quality, affordability and portability of health coverage for every American; modernize the U.S. healthcare system to contain spiraling healthcare costs and improve the quality of patient care; and promote prevention and strengthen public health.
My plan both builds on and improves our current insurance system, which most Americans continue to rely upon, and leaves Medicare intact. Specifically, my plan would: