“Since then, I've said that I'm willing to incorporate some ideas offered by Republicans, and we're eliminating special provisions that had no place in healthcare reform,” he said.
Republicans in Congress insist on starting over on reform, “but you know what? The insurance companies aren't starting over,” the president stated, adding that in meeting with the industry last week “they couldn't give me a straight answer as to why they keep arbitrarily and massively raising premiums – by as much as 60% in states like Illinois. If we do not act, they will continue to do this.”
Failure to act will also cripple the Democratic party's ability to lead in the future, the president has cautioned. Obama wants lawmakers to act on a two-bill process, in which the House would first pass the Senate's overhaul legislation and then quickly pass a second package of “fix-its” under the reconciliation process.
“The proposal we've put forward would end the worst practices of the insurance industry, lower costs for millions of Americans, and give uninsured individuals and small businesses the same kind of choice of private health insurance that members of Congress get for themselves,” Obama said, summarizing some of the main provisions of the legislation.
“Let's show our citizens that it's still possible for Washington to look out for their interests and their future,” Obama said.
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