Obama Says His Plan Won’t Put Private Insurers Out Of Business

President Barack Obama. Photo: White House

President Barack Obama. Photo: White House

By Dolores M. Bernal, NEWS JUNKIE POST

President Barack Obama told reporters at Tuesday’s press conference that he thinks it is “wise policy” and the “right thing to do” to start providing universal health care to Americans lacking coverage and to the underinsured.

“I get three letters a day from people who don’t have health insurance,” Obama told reporters.

Insurance companies such as BlueCross/BlueShield oppose the president’s initiative arguing that his plan would take away employer-sponsored health insurance from the millions of people who are currently covered. But the president argued that private health insurance companies shouldn’t be afraid of having to compete with the government’s health plan.

Why would private insurance companies go out of business..if private insurers say that the marketplace provides the best quality health care; if they tell us that they’re offering a good deal, then why is it that the government, which they say can’t run anything, suddenly is going to drive them out of business? That’s not logical.

Obama also said that small businesses will benefit greatly because they will be able to choose from plans that they can afford because they will not be “profit driven.”

The Congressional Budget Office’s report last week found that Obama’s health care plan would cost $1.6 trillion — more than the president had originally planned. The report sparked serious criticism from the GOP and health insurance companies saying that the plan is too costly for the government to afford.

Obama pointed out that regardless what it’s said in the “healthy debates” that will take place in Congress regarding the cost of his plan, health care reform is a must.

So let’s assume that nothing happened. I can guarantee you that there’s the possibility for a whole lot of Americans out there that they’re not going to end up having the same health care they have. Because what’s going to happen is, as costs keep on going up, employers are going to start making decisions. We’ve got to raise premiums on our employees. In some cases, we can’t provide health insurance at all.

And so there are going to be a whole set of changes out there. That’s exactly why health reform is so important.


The president defended how he’s handled the situation in Iran from claims by Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) that Obama has been too “timid” in his response of the post-Iran election unrest in the country.

“Senator John McCain has genuine passion on international issues,” Obama said. “But I’m the President of the United States…we have to continue to advance our security interests.”



43 Responses to Obama Says His Plan Won’t Put Private Insurers Out Of Business

  1. Vote -1 Vote +1Jenna
    June 23, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your site and wanted to say
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  2. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Spanish classes Phoenix Arizona
    June 23, 2009 at 4:10 pm

    That is a straight slam from President Obama. I am not for or against him from a political stand point but that was a great and intelligent slam.

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  4. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Cory
    June 23, 2009 at 4:26 pm

    If the Gov Health Plan is subsidized then that will be an obvious disadvantage for private insurers. That could easily put them out of business. Seems logical to me…

    • Dolores M. Bernal
      -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Dolores M Bernal
      June 23, 2009 at 4:47 pm

      Just to clarify that what the president said was that if the businesses have always accused the government of not doing things as well as they do, they why are they afraid that they will be put out of business? If they offer people competitive rates and good service, then people will want to choose them.

      • Vote -1 Vote +1Yes but
        June 23, 2009 at 5:14 pm

        the playing field will only be fair if the government run insurance policy plays by the same rules as the other players involved. Chances are the mofos wont

        • Vote -1 Vote +1Objective Thinker
          June 23, 2009 at 6:29 pm

          I like that make up the same rules… that is the same thing that happened to mortgage markets, and look what happened there. That is a great success story. Bring it on we can always run the economy into ruin faster…

        • Vote -1 Vote +1joe
          June 24, 2009 at 2:21 am

          So let me get this straight…you’re backing the big insurance companies that are basically reaping profits without a care for sick people, compared to the government’s plan to introduce a basic cheaper plan for the 48 million who can’t afford big expensive plans. Am I right or am I right?

  5. Vote -1 Vote +1Nerraw
    June 23, 2009 at 4:54 pm

    Why are the insurance afraid to compete? Will they have to stop the price gauging? and start thinking about providing a service instead of making a profit and denying everyone’s claims?

    I imagine them being able to easily compete since the cost of implementing public health care will be high and therefore leave off a few benefits that the privates will be able to provide for the extra cost…

  6. Vote -1 Vote +1Tom
    June 23, 2009 at 5:44 pm

    Of course a government run health care system will drive private insurers out of business. The government doesn’t have to make a profit. In fact, it doesn’t have to concern itself with costs at all. Once the government starts the plan, it will cost double, triple, or even more than they estimated. Then they will make up the difference by taking it at the point of a gun in the form of taxes. They have an infinite bucket of money and can drive any competitor out of the market.

    Anyone who doubts that just has to look around and ask yourself where have all the private retirement programs go. Why should companies provide you with a retirement program when the government is already stealing money to provide you with one.

    How anyone in their right mind could think the government can be more efficient than private enterprise is hard to imagine.

    This country is lost.

    • Vote -1 Vote +1Jack
      June 23, 2009 at 6:45 pm

      Funny how we do not see the same doomsday scenario you painted in countries with universal health care such as Germany, Canada, Britain, Japan, etc.

      • Vote -1 Vote +1Nick
        June 24, 2009 at 9:25 am

        I don’t see many people going to Canada to get operations. I DO see people from all over the world coming to the US for operations. The reason being that competetive healthcare systems allows for the most advancement. Do you really want your next visit to the ER to be like the MVA? Or have them telling you that you can’t have that surgery you need for 6 months since they have no openings? Or your childrens medical needs be put through the gov’t red tape machine? Wake up. Go talk to a Canadian about standardized health care, or a Brit. Sure, they’re drugs are cheaper, but I would rather be able to get surgery tomorrow and pay for the drugs than die waiting for my surgery.

        • Vote -1 Vote +1Al
          June 24, 2009 at 10:22 am

          People go to the U.S, Europe and many other modern countries not because of the health care system per say but for the reputation of some specialist. There are specialist in many different countries and the healthcare system has zero impact on someone trying to find the best doctor to save their life (if they have the money).

    • Vote -1 Vote +1Paul
      June 23, 2009 at 6:48 pm

      “more efficient than private enterprise”. Where have you been? are you aware what Wall St did to US and world economic health?

      You’re repeating someone’s talking points without letting them go through your brain on the way out, Tom. Try harder to analyze before you spout. Have you looked at the average 401K yet? GM’s retirement plan? (don’t look to hard for that last one – it’s GONE!!!! Far as I know, social security is still there, maybe not healthy, but at least it hasn’t bene raided and shut down by you and your “the market is efficient even when it isn’t” friends.

      • Vote -1 Vote +1Andy
        June 24, 2009 at 3:22 pm

        Social Security is a joke!! I have been paying SS every working day of my life as I am sure you have… I have about ten years before retirement. I would let you keep every cent I have paid if I never had to pay in again, I will invest it and be better off ten-fold. do the math. the government should not get involved in the health care system plain and simple… but I guess time will be the great reveler. I hope at that time I do not get to say “told you so”.

  7. Vote -1 Vote +1Anon
    June 23, 2009 at 9:07 pm

    Everyone is so indoctrinated into the system, that they, including the president, are failing to see the giant pink elephant in the room.

    Healthcare, as a matter of freemarket principles, should be affordable WITHOUT insurance. Thats right, I said without insurance. Failing to address the reasons why healthcare is so outrageously expensive, is failing to do anything worthwhile.

    Insurance is part of the problem, not the solution.

    • Vote -1 Vote +1Alex
      June 23, 2009 at 9:28 pm

      I completely Agree with ya.

    • Vote -1 Vote +1brandon
      June 24, 2009 at 2:25 am

      My grandfather, a family practice doctor, constantly complains about how insurance bullshit is more than 3x the amount of time he actually spends with patients. The insurance companies don’t only try to fuck over their policy holders, they also try everything they can to screw over the doctors – including trying to deny payment for procedures and such later on. Insurance companies need competition, and if a few crooked insurance companies loose business because of a better plan than fuck them.

      • Vote -1 Vote +1Nick
        June 24, 2009 at 9:28 am

        And this is a reason to let the gov’t come in and screw it all up? Seriously, your grandpappy is screwed if Obama has his way, unless he is a hack, then he will be fine since thats all that will be left in the medical fields.

  8. Vote -1 Vote +1norris hall
    June 23, 2009 at 9:42 pm

    I am self employed, over 60 and pay 100% of my own insurance premiums.
    So what do I get fo $900 a month. A catastrophic health care plan from Blue Shield of California that has a $10,000 deductible.
    That means I basically have no health care coverage . Need to see a doctor. I pay. Need medications. I pay. Have to make an emergency room visit. I pay.
    Blue Shield won’t start chipping in until my medical bills total $10,000.

    So Blue shield collects $900×12 per year…and on top of that I have to pay for all my own medical bills.

    I’ll take a public plan over that any day.

    Will a public plan drive companies like Blue Shield out of business?
    Who cares. They certainly don’t care about me so why should I worry that they won’t be able to fleece the American public any longer

    Health Insurance companies

  9. Vote -1 Vote +1TITANIC SINCLAIR
    June 23, 2009 at 9:59 pm

    Obama is a fraud.

  10. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1In the Red
    June 23, 2009 at 10:19 pm

    The insurance companies are right about this. First of all, the government doesn’t have to do anything right to put the insurance companies out of business. All they have to do is offer better coverage for a lower price. And the government can do that because, unlike real companies, they don’t have to balance their books. The government runs everything in the red. Our national debt is exorbitant, and Obama is making it worse. By far. And the government loves to spend money off the books as well. A huricane on the coast? That’s an emergency, and who could have seen it coming??? Let’s just send a billion dollars in aid and not add it to the books. Yeah, the insurance companies will be toast, and then the whole country will be.

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  12. Vote -1 Vote +1Scott Grizzard
    June 24, 2009 at 1:35 am

    Let’s see… why would private insurers be afraid of government competition…

    Perhaps it is because the government can STEAL money from people not using the “public plan” to subsidize those that are!

    Do you think anyone would send their child to a public school if the parents had to pay the full cost of attendance WITHOUT tax subsidy? Same goes for healthcare!

  13. Vote -1 Vote +1brandon
    June 24, 2009 at 3:14 am

    My grandfather, a family practice doctor, constantly complains about how insurance bullshit is more than 3x the amount of time he actually spends with patients. The insurance companies don’t only try to fuck over their policy holders, they also try everything they can to screw over the doctors – including trying to deny payment for procedures and such later on. Insurance companies need competition, and if a few crooked insurance companies loose business because of a better plan than fuck them.
    P.S. – Sorry, forgot to tell you great post!

    • Vote -1 Vote +1Sean
      June 24, 2009 at 3:26 pm

      I am a doctor and sorry to break it to you…your grandfather is an idiot.
      Socialized heath care will be grossly most expensive!

      S. S.

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  17. Vote -1 Vote +1Dr. Bob
    June 24, 2009 at 7:43 am

    The biggest problem with health care is that everyone assumes they are entitled to free or cheap health care. This is garbage. This offends me as a physician. I go to 4 years of medical school and 3 years of residency, working crazier hours than the rest of you can possibly imagine and you have the audacity to say that you all are entitled or have a claim on my services? What is this nonsensical thinking? You want my services you pay me, just like if you want the service of a mechanic to fix your vehicle. The next time one of you comes to my office complaining of a sore throat why don’t you pay out of pocket? Why should I look at your throat for free? This entitlement mentality is also the reason why my malpractice insurance is astronomically high. And because of the bloodsucking lawyers you always threaten to hire, my colleges and I are forced to order unnecessary expensive tests that are not medically indicated, but we do so only to protect ourselves legally. Why don’t you spend a day in my shoes before you start whining that health care is not cheap enough for you.

    • Vote -1 Vote +1Al
      June 24, 2009 at 12:17 pm

      You are right Doctor all those without health care should just go and die in a corner somewhere. I guess that oath you took meant nothing, but hey at least you get to drive that brand new car.

      Only thing I would agree with you on is malpractice cost, that is something a reformed health care system should address.

      • Vote -1 Vote +1Dr. Bob
        June 26, 2009 at 1:42 pm

        Nice strawman. Obviously I am not suggesting that. I assure you that acute viral pharyngitis or acute back muscular sprains are not life threatening conditions. I am referring to to common non life threatening conditions for which there is not reason why a person can’t pay out of pocket.

        Your statement strikes as extremely naive. I’m affraid its a common assumption that most physicians are “loaded”. For your information, I actually drive an old 1992 Honda Accord. The oath I took merely says do no harm, its says nothing me being obligated to participate in any sort of socialized medicine.

  18. Vote -1 Vote +1GOLDNSQUID
    June 24, 2009 at 7:53 am

    It is amazing the number of people posting here in love with the government. In everything mentioned here from health care to the financial market collapse, it is the interference by the government that caused the very things you are complaining about. It is both funny and sad to see the contrast between what is happening elsewhere in the world in places such as Iran where the people are rising up against their government where we are rushing to give up freedom for government control. The private insurance companies can not compete with the government who will set the rules and does not have to make a profit. Pull the government out and let the market work. It does and will work if you get the government out. Personal responsibility and freedom must be too much for ya’ll to handle. Bunch of children…

    • Vote -1 Vote +1Al
      June 24, 2009 at 10:29 am

      There is a huge difference iran is basically a religious/political government. Iran currently has a 40% unemployment rate, the government is not helping its people, you don’t want the government to meddle in your life then you must really hate public schooling, the police etc you know all these horrible things the government has given you.

      It is really important to know the difference between limiting your freedoms and the services the government can and should provide you. When your health care system is rated below third world countries that says we are doing something wrong.

  19. Vote -1 Vote +1Nick
    June 24, 2009 at 9:35 am

    I am trying to figure out why it will cost, over 10 years, $1,000,000,000,000 USD (Trillion) to get insurance for 14 million people… And you think the insurance companies are bad? Wait until the gov takes it over. They don’t have to make a profit, they don’t have to answer to anyone, they don’t have to hurry, they don’t have to operate on you tomorrow, they don’t have to give you the expensive treatment, they don’t have to do anything. And gov’t workers are oh so concerned with anything other than the 45 holidays they get a year. We are in for a shit storm beyond belief/

    • Vote -1 Vote +1gus
      June 24, 2009 at 2:10 pm

      well it happened that i am a doctor who graduated and worked in France ,so i ve seen it both way.for me the pay rate is way higher here ,life seems good,except one problem, i do really believe in human been. there should be no reason for a human been not to get treated due to financial reasons like what i m seeing here in mass(usually our middle class people who r not eligible for medicare…please ,we look after people in Africa ),if i were to choose between greed here and bureaucracy over there i ll choose the one who ll cover all, specially when the system here move the money toward business people(who’s goal is profit only) instead of treating there subscribers u can’t imagine the waste of money and the leeway we have to do to get a treatment plan approved on a critical patient,u probably wonder why hospital bills r outrageous it’s just due to non payment from insurance company ,so every thing has to be complicated.
      i believe 10% of a nation gross income will secure health issues for its citizen so 1.3 tri is about right which means 10% of our income .
      the best is a health bank who collect 10% and pay cash for health services trust me it would be plenty for all of us.

  20. Vote -1 Vote +1Elcorin
    June 24, 2009 at 9:57 am

    I have already seen it somethere…

  21. Vote -1 Vote +1Cannuck
    June 24, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    I just gotta say… I really don’t understand the confusion here, or the apprehension.
    The pharmaceutical companies are price gouging. The hospitals and HMO doctors are bought by the pharms. Prices are inflated. Millions can’t afford it and thousands are denied their claims for want of dotting an ‘i’ or crossing a ‘t’ on the paperwork involved.

    If the HMO’s services are of such a high standard of quality, then surely the rich will continue to use their services. The gov is trying to establish a safety net for those who fall through the cracks.

    I live in Canada. With what the GOP would surely refer to, as an EVIL healthcare system. It covers a lot of things. All of the basics. If I need a heart transplant, guess what? It costs me nothing. The gov sponsored healthcare will do what it can to keep you alive if you need it. But if you want the ‘bling’ of additional elective surgeries, you can pay for it. And get it.

    I’m covered by the gov system, but IN ADDITION, I also have insurance from my employer which will cover all of the extras that the gov system will not. And guess what? The insurance companies are still rich, still thriving. Charging LESS for drugs. AND even still keeping the public Dr’s and hospitals in their pocket and fudging statistic reports to favour their products.

    This has been functioning for a good long time. Is it perfect? No.
    Will I die for lack of coverage or a clerical error and be denied help? No.

    • Vote -1 Vote +1The Dark Trucker
      June 24, 2009 at 1:12 pm

      I fully agree with you Canuck. Though Canada’s system seems like it is suffering something fierce right now. I think we really should look to European nations like Sweden for how things ought to be done. A trucker can dream can’t he?

      • Vote -1 Vote +1Cannuck
        June 24, 2009 at 1:19 pm

        You keep dreamin, Trucker. Dream enough for all of us. Go get em.

        Go Sweden.

        PS: The Nazi’s wanted private healthcare too :P

        • Vote -1 Vote +1The Dark Trucker
          June 24, 2009 at 1:22 pm

          You have turned this discussion into a laughing stock. They are BY FAR the worst kinds of stock. I will have no part in this. Good day to you sir.

        • Vote -1 Vote +1Cannuck
          June 24, 2009 at 1:30 pm

          The Nazi’s bid people “Good Day”.

  22. Vote -1 Vote +1Tyrone
    June 24, 2009 at 5:32 pm

    I hope that all parties involved can create an amicable solution.