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