Hello. My name is Kavita Patel and I work in the White House for Valerie Jarrett, who's the Senior Advisor to the President. I'm also a physician, which is why I'm here to talk to you today about some of the myths and facts around health insurance reform. So, this is an e-mail: "I do not think that the government should run health care. It will cost way too much and it will create a bureaucratic nightmare for patients." Another e-mail said: "How are you going to ensure that rationing of services does not occur?" A couple of the things that I need to point out straight off when I read that: rationing occurs right now. Health insurance companies, as we speak, sit down and think about what services you can and can't get -- not based on what you should have, not based on the best treatment sometimes, but based on what kind of insurance you have. As for this general notion of the government taking over health care, the President has said time and time again: If you like your insurance, if you like the kind of health care that you have right now and the plan you have, you can keep it. If you like your doctor, you can keep it. Trust me, I know how important that can be. I've even had to talk about this with my own parents who have often asked me what I think about this plan and this plan. If you like what you have, you can keep it. But the -- the notion that the government will interfere with what you have -- it really is laughable.
A lot of people have heard this phrase "socialized medicine" and they say, we don't want government-run health care; we don't want a Canadian-style plan. Nobody's talking about that. We're saying, let's give you a choice. You can choose the private marketplace, or this other approach. And I got a letter the other day from a woman; she said, "I don't want government-run health care, I don't want socialized medicine, and don't touch my Medicare." (laughter) And I wanted to say, well, I mean, that's what Medicare is, is it's a government-run health care plan that people are very happy with. But I think that we've been so accustomed to hearing those phrases that sometimes we can't sort out the myth from the reality.
The reality right now is that there is widespread rationing in the form of health insurance telling you what you can and what you can't have. What we want to see is real reform. We want to make sure that people with preexisting conditions are not denied coverage. That happens -- right now, as we speak. People get kicked out of their insurance plans because they have increased medical costs and they're deemed to be unworthy of coverage. We need to make sure that those people, people like you and me, also have access in case we do get sick, and in case we do lose our jobs, and in case we do need to change from one employer to another. We have to have that security. So I ask you to help us make sure that the reality and the myths are explained. Please forward this video and some of the other videos that you'll see on whitehouse.gov to your friends, to your neighbors -- share them with your doctor. Share them with people who you know will benefit from understanding a little bit more about the myths and realities.