"If we do nothing, everyone's healthcare will be put in jeopardy," Obama said. "Fixing what's wrong with our healthcare system is no longer a luxury we hope to achieve it's a necessity we cannot postpone any longer," said the president, who attended D-Day anniversary ceremonies in France on Saturday.
The first bill containing language to put in place his healthcare goals has begun circulating on Capitol Hill. Draft legislation from the Sen. Edward Kennedys Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee would require employers to cover their employees or pay a penalty, and would guarantee coverage for all.
That parallels Obama's goals of lowering costs, ensuring choice, and providing coverage to some 50 million uninsured Americans.
Obama articulated those goals again in his radio address and in a videotaped message prepared for supporters at the community meetings. "Any healthcare reform must be built around fundamental reforms that lower costs, improve quality and coverage and also protect consumer choice," Obama said.
He said he supports a plan that would not add to the budget deficit, touching on a major issue that remains unresolved little more than a week away from the first scheduled votes in Senate committees: how to pay for the healthcare overhaul.