Obama on health-care: ‘I’m not fighting that war again’

REUTERS/Jim Bourg

President Barack Obama said on Friday his healthcare overhaul is an important part of efforts to cut the budget deficit and insisted he will not “refight” the battle to pass the law.

With emboldened Republicans vowing to repeal or replace the healthcare law he signed last March, Obama reiterated his case that the changes it brings are necessary to help rein in the price of the government-run Medicaid and Medicare insurance programs, a huge chunk of the U.S. budget deficit problem.

The Congressional Budget Office said on Wednesday the U.S. budget deficit will hit $1.48 trillion for fiscal 2011, up from a $1.07 trillion estimate in August.

“Health reform is part of deficit reform,” Obama told a meeting of Families USA, a group that advocated for healthcare reform. “We know that health care costs, including programs like Medicare and Medicaid, are the biggest contributors to our long-term deficit. Nobody disputes this. And this law will slow these costs.”

Many Republicans promised in last year’s congressional election campaigns to repeal the healthcare law, and, after winning the majority of seats in the U.S. House of Representatives in November, they voted this month to do so.

That effort is unlikely to go further because Democrats still control the Senate, and will not back repeal, but House Republicans still vow to replace the law “branch by branch” with measures they say would bring down soaring costs.

Obama repeated his assertion from Tuesday’s State of the Union address that he was open to changes in the law, but would not refight the two-year battle to get it passed.

He also defended the measure — which includes provisions such as a requirement that insurance companies not deny health coverage to patients who are sick and that they allow parents to keep their children on their policies until they are 26.

And he laughed at some of the most vitriolic attacks on the law.

“You may have heard once or twice that this is a job-crushing, granny-threatening, budget-busting monstrosity.

That’s about how it’s been portrayed by opponents,” he said. “And that just doesn’t match up to the reality. I mean this thing has been in place now for 10 months, all right?”

Comments

  1. Carl Nemo

    “Health reform is part of deficit reform,” Obama told a meeting of Families USA, a group that advocated for healthcare reform. “We know that health care costs, including programs like Medicare and Medicaid, are the biggest contributors to our long-term deficit. Nobody disputes this. And this law will slow these costs.” …extract from article

    Should read:

    ***

    ‘Defense spending reform is part of deficit reform,’ Obama told a meeting of Families USA, a group that advocated such reform. ‘We know that defense costs specifically cost overruns on killtoys we don’t need , incuding programs such as the endless war on terror, Homeland Security, along with two engineered intrusions into Iraq and Afghanistan are the biggest contributors to our long term deficit. Nobody disputes this. The curtailment of these nation-destroying defense expenditures will seriously slow these costs and save our nation from possible insolvency.’

    ***

    Mr. President…How about military spending reform first?! / : |

    ***

    Carl Nemo **==

    • woody188

      I was thinking the same thing. The three largest expenditures are military, Social Security, and debt service. Simply ending the failed “War on Drugs” would save $90 billion a year.

      • Carl Nemo

        Sorry Woody, I forgot about that ‘war’. That’s what will happen with this endless war on terror too in that if this could continue for another twenty years or so, the people will forget why they are even engaged in such continual madness no different than the so-called faceless ‘war on drugs’ ; ie., another noun. How do you parley or make a peace accord with simply a noun? Drug trafficking is a criminal activity no different than terrorism. There’s no shortage of malcontents on a worldwide basis that represent no country other than their own agenda whatever that might be.

        Fortunately the drain on our now failing ‘credit’ is far too heavy to manage a trillion dollars per annum for the Defense Dept. alone along with the 200 billion per annum ever-growing tab on playing both domestic and world policeman against ‘terrorists’. We’re now spending more than 15 other nations on earth combined including China and Russia on defense. Say what?! Of course the MIC would like to see all social services cut, including getting their mitts on SS and every other dollar possible into their ever-hungry maw. Madness reigns supreme in these end times for the Republic.

        http://www.warresisters.org/pages/piechart.htm

        Medicare’s problem is fraud and it’s growing at an alarming rate supposedly 80 billion dollars last year alone while providing marginally effective medical care. Many doctors and clinics are dodging Medicare insureds. About a year ago I called a half dozen urgency care, doctors clinics and individual doctors offices seeking them as providers and they all said they weren’t taking any new Medicare insureds. They’re too slow to pay and in many cases bounce the bills back refusing to pay. So where is the money going, excluding fraud. Possibly the government is pilfering Medicare as of now, but who would know so. There have been rumors to such and it wouldn’t surprise me in the least.

        SS is not a tax per se, but was supposed to be a trust fund where people pay into it and its left separate from the general fund, but our ever-scheming leaders now have their eyes on that money too. There’s even rumors they’ve thought about nationalizing 401k’s, IRA’s and other tax sheltered accounts simply paying 3% per annum to the accounts and once ‘owners’ of said accounts die, the money reverts to the government. How’s that for a scary scheme or what…?!

        Carl Nemo **==