GREEN BAY - President Barack Obama brought his push for health care reformto a crowd of more than one thousand supporters at Southwest HighSchool.
"It's time to give every American quality health care at anaffordable cost," said the President.
Obama said his administration is working on the creation ofsomething called a "Health Insurance Exchange."
It would allow Americans to one-stop shop for a health careplan, compare benefits and prices, and choose the best plan.
President Obama said none of the plans would be able to denycoverage on the basis of pre-existing conditions.
"Every plan should include an affordable basic benefit package.And if you can't afford one of the plans, we should provideassistance to make sure you can," said President Obama.
He said another option should be a public insurance option.
"The reason is not because we want a government takeover ofhealth care, I said if you have a plan already that works for you,that's great, but we want competition. If the private insurancecompanies have to compete with a public option, it will keep themhonest and help keep prices down," the President said.
The President said reform will cost money--but says theadministration has already identified hundreds of billions ofdollars of savings in the federal budget. Savings that will comefrom steps like reducing Medicare overpayments to insurancecompanies, and stopping fraud and abuse in Medicare andMedicaid.
As Congress moves forward on health care legislation, PresidentObama says he welcomes debate, but he will not accept denials ordelays.
"I know there are some who believe that reform is too expensive,but I can assure you that doing nothing will cost us far more inthe coming years," said President Obama.
After speaking for about 20 minutes, President Obama tookquestions from the crowd.
One man asked about a timeline on all of this. President Obamasaid he is calling on Congress to get something on his desk byOctober.
The President said if something is passed yet this year,families should see immediate relief on some issues.
However, the President said total reform will take about four tofive years.
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