In his weekly address, President Obama sets the record straight on what his healthcare reform proposals will do--and will not do. "So when folks with a stake in the status quo keep inventing these boogeymen in an effort to scare people, it’s disappointing, but it’s not surprising. We’ve seen it before. When President Roosevelt was working to create Social Security, opponents warned it would open the door to "federal snooping" and force Americans to wear dog tags. When President Kennedy and President Johnson were working to create Medicare, opponents warned of "socialized medicine." Sound familiar? Not only were those fears never realized, but more importantly, those programs have saved the lives of tens of millions of seniors, the disabled, and the disadvantaged.
Those who would stand in the way of reform will say almost anything to scare you about the cost of action. But they won’t say much about the cost of inaction. If you’re worried about rationed care, higher costs, denied coverage, or bureaucrats getting between you and your doctor, then you should know that’s what’s happening right now. In the past three years, over 12 million Americans were discriminated against by insurance companies due to a preexisting condition, or saw their coverage denied or dropped just when they got sick and needed it most. Americans whose jobs and health care are secure today just don’t know if they’ll be next to join the 14,000 who lose their health insurance every single day. And if we don’t act, average family premiums will keep rising to more than $22,000 within a decade."
At a town hall in Colorado, President Obama took on the most pernicious and repulsive of the false charges against healthcare reform: the so-called death panels that opponents have invented, claiming they would decide which seniors to kill. "What you can't do, or you can, but you shouldn't do -- is start saying things like we want to set up death panels to pull the plug on grandma." President Obama paused and grew emotional. "First of all, when you make a comment like that, I just lost my grandmother last year... I know what its like to watch somebody you love, who's aging, deteriorate... When you start making arguments like that, that's simply dishonest. Especially when I hear the arguments coming from members of congress in the other party..."
President Obama also wrote an oped in the New York Times outlining his health insurance proposals and the reasons these changes are vital for the health of Americans, their financial futures, the economy and to get control of the federal deficit.