On March 3, 2010, President Obama spoke from the White House’s East Room to summarize the state of health reform, briefly explain his newest proposal, and urge Congress to schedule a vote within the next few weeks. The speech lasted about 15 minutes and was a little over 2,500 words long. But a lot of those words were simply filler, “thank yous,” and political banter.
In order to get to the heart of the speech, we’ve created an outline of the president’s remarks, which highlights Obama’s key points.
I. Thank you
II. Review of where health care stands
a. Both sides agree:
i. The status quo is not working
ii. Health insurance is too expensive
iii. Rising cost of Medicare and Medicaid is troubling
b. Disagreements – how to fix it?
i. Scrapping private insurance for government-run program, which would be neither practical nor realistic in America
ii. Loosen regulations on the insurance industry to lower cost (where most Republicans stand), but there is a concern that this would just cause carriers to raise premiums and further deny access
iii. Obama’s suggestion – give doctors and nurses the power over health care
III. Obama’s proposal – change three things
a. Fix insurance companies
i. No pre-existing condition limitations
ii. No rescission
iii. Cap on out-of-pocket expenses
iv. Monitor premium increases
b. Give uninsured Americans same choice of health insurance as members of Congress
i. Tax credits for those who can’t afford it (middle class)
ii. Will cost $100 billion per year, but will come from the $2 trillion a year America already spends on health care
c. Bring the cost of health care down; cost-cutting measures mirror the Senate bill, with savings verified by the Congressional Budget Office.
IV. Proposal was also based on Republican summit suggestions
a. Funding state grants on medical malpractice reform