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The Cost of Inaction

Rebecca Adelman of the Department of Health and Human Services tells us about a new report that turns the debate over the costs of health reform on its head.

Last month, President Obama told a joint session of Congress that "health care reform cannot wait, it must not wait, and it will not wait another year." A report released today by the Department of Health and Human Services highlights why health care reform cannot wait.  Entitled The Costs of Inaction, this report includes statistics that illustrate the challenges Americans are facing – from skyrocketing costs to the persistent gaps in health care quality.

The full report is available at www.healthreform.gov.  According to the report, health care costs doubled from 1996 to 2006, and more Americans are being left out of the health care system than ever before. An estimated 87 million people -- one in every three Americans under the age of 65 -- were uninsured at some point in 2007 and 2008. President Obama has committed to work with Congress this year to make our health care system work for all Americans.  
This report comes as President Obama seeks input on health care reform from Americans across the country at the Regional White House Forums on Health Reform. The fourth regional forum will take place tomorrow in Greensboro, North Carolina, moderated by Governor Bev Perdue. You can watch the forum live on www.healthreform.gov beginning at 10:30 ET tomorrow morning.