Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release July 14, 2009
Statement by the President on the Health Care Reform Legislation Introduced in the House Today
"For decades, Washington failed to act as health care costs continued to rise, crushing businesses and families and placing an unsustainable burden on governments. But today, key committees in the House of Representatives have engaged in unprecedented cooperation to produce a health care reform proposal that will lower costs, provide better care for patients, and ensure fair treatment of consumers by the insurance industry.
This proposal controls the skyrocketing cost of health care by rooting out waste and fraud and promoting quality and accountability. Its savings of more than $500 billion over 10 years will strengthen Medicare and contribute to our goal of reforming health care in a fiscally responsible way. It will change the incentives in our health care system so that Americans can receive the best care, not the most expensive care. And it will offer families and businesses more choices and more affordable health care.
This proposal will also prevent insurance companies from denying people coverage because of a pre-existing medical condition. It will ensure that workers can still have health insurance if they lose their job, change their job or start a new business. And it includes a health insurance exchange that will allow families and small businesses to compare prices and quality so they can choose the health care plan that best suits their needs. Among the choices that would be available in the exchange would be a public health insurance option that would make health care affordable by increasing competition, providing more choices, and keeping the insurance companies honest.
The House proposal will begin the process of fixing what’s broken about our health care system, reducing costs for all, building on what works, and covering an estimated 97% of all Americans. And by emphasizing prevention and wellness, it will also help improve the quality of health care for every American.
I thank Chairmen Rangel, Waxman, and Miller for their hard work on this bill that fundamentally reforms the health care system. As this process moves forward, I look forward to continuing to work with all House members in ensuring this legislation helps all Americans and plays an essential role in reducing deficits and bringing fiscal sustainability to our nation."