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September 10, 2009

Obama Releases Details of Health Plan

In a joint session of Congress on September 9, President Barack Obama denounced the “scare tactics” brought on by opponents of his health care reform plan, The New York Times reports.

“The time for bickering is over,” the president said bluntly in his 47-minute speech outlining his reform plan. “The time for games has passed. Now is the season for action.”

According to the article, Obama’s plan would provide “security and stability” for those who have health insurance, while making affordable options available to all Americans. While he still supports a government insurance plan—a public option—to compete with private companies, Obama said he would consider alternatives.

Obama’s plan would also make it illegal for insurers to deny coverage because of pre-existing conditions, and it would require that every American have health insurance, much like states require drivers have auto insurance.

The president said the plan would cost $900 billion during the next 10 years but would not add to the federal deficit.

To his critics, Obama said, “Some have dug into unyielding ideological camps that offer no hope of compromise. Too many have used this as an opportunity to score short-term political points, even if it robs the country of our opportunity to solve a long-term challenge.”

In his speech, Obama also dispelled rumors about his plan, including the belief that Democrats are proposing so-called “death panels” that will deny care to the elderly or that the plan supports health coverage for illegal immigrants. The latter prompted Republican Representative Joe Wilson of South Carolina to interrupt the president by yelling, “You lie!” He apologized for the outburst an hour after the speech. 

Search: Barack Obama, health care reform, health insurance, pre-existing condition

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