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In weekly address, Obama touts the benefits of health reform

By Michael A. Fletcher
President Obama continued selling the benefits of his health-care reform plan Saturday, calling it a crucial element in his administration's plan to bolster the dwindling security of the nation's middle class.

Speaking in his weekly radio and Internet address, Obama said the reform legislation, which has passed both chambers of Congress and is now being reconciled by Democratic legislative leaders, would begin paying dividends almost immediately upon enactment.

The law would allow uninsured Americans with a pre-existing health condition to purchase affordable coverage, while preventing insurance companies from imposing lifetime and annual limits on care, he said. Also, he said, small business will receive tax credits to purchase coverage for their employees.

"It'll take a few years to fully implement these reforms in a responsible way," Obama said. "But what every American should know is that once I sign health insurance reform into law, there are dozens of protections and benefits that will take effect this year."

Noting that over the past decade the economy has created few lasting jobs, while the inflation-adjusted salaries of average workers have flat lined, Obama called the health-reform law part of his plan to help restore the middle class.

"We need to rebuild our economy in such a way that our families can feel a measure of security again," he said. "Too many of the folks I've talked with this year, and whose stories I read in letters at night, tell me that they've known their own private recessions since long before economists declared one - and they'll still feel the recession long after economists have declared it over."

Obama said that his administration's actions to increase science and renewable energy research, while bolstering education funding would "generate and keep the jobs and industries of the future right here in America."

Central to that, he said, is "fixing our broken health-insurance system that's crushing families, eating away at workers' take-home pay, and nailing small businesses with double-digit premium increases."

While critics have likened the health-reform legislation to a government takeover of health care, Obama disagreed. Once enacted, he said, doctors and patients would have "more control over their health decisions, and insurance company bureaucrats will have less."

By Michael A. Fletcher  |  January 9, 2010; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency , Barack Obama , Health Care  
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I'm a retired veteran; I have coverage from Aetna, the VA, and Medicare.

I was diagnosed with Leukemia when I was 40, Aetna paid for all of my care, VA claimed that I had to go to a civilian cancer care center because they didn't have the proper facilities to treat me.

So I went to the University of Louisville James Graham Brown Cancer center, in Louisville KY. The care was first rate, the government payment was far from it.

Aetna paid all costs, except the co-pays, TRICARE paid a small percentage, and I paid the rest out of pocket. Then TRICARE billed their portion to AETNA, so the government paid nothing.

On the advice of a hospital Social Worker I signed up for Social Security Disability (SSD). I was on SSD for 26 months. At my 25th month of SSD, Medicare informed me that because I had been on SSD for more than 24 months that the law required I go on Medicare. This was after my cancer was cured. Since Medicare Part A (which covers nothing other than hospital stays) was what I was enrolled in, I was faced with the choice of enrolling in Part B, which I had to pay for, or having no insurance to cover my copays. TRICARE was revoked even though I am a veteran, because when a veteran, any veteran is enrolled into any part of Medicare they lose their veterans promised health care coverage, as it is replaced by Medicare.

For the next 36 months, Medicare charged me 90.00 a month for coverage, but since the law places Medicare at the end of the line of payers, Aetna carried the ball and I paid Medicare 90.00 a month only to have them deny every charge. Like Obama-care, there is no "Opt-out" of the Medicare trap.

As for TRICARE and VA, when I retired I was 40% disabled but it took them a year to figure that out and get a disability letter done. Then I was informed that I had to register with the local VA clinic, which required that I meet with a VA doctor. The Doctor I was assigned is Pakistani and barely speaks English. It took me 18 months to get an appointment for my initial consult, and I was not allowed to get any VA treatments until the consult was complete. The first thing my Pakistani doctor said to me was "I'm tired of all of you people faking your injuries to get disability." This was before she even began the exam. Yet, my retirement physical of 18 months earlier, had already confirmed my disabilities.

NOW....Why should I believe that any new healthcare bill will be any different than the current debacle?

Posted by: jonweiss1 | January 11, 2010 11:50 PM | Report abuse

Can anybody answer this simple question:

You Americans constantly call yourselves a democracy, repeatedly so.

We have a situation where a political party won the presidency with a landslide victory, which in any other western democracy would mean they have carte blanche to formulate AND institute policies. BUT in the USA, not so!!

The fact that the people who voted for these same policies are being denied their democratic rights is tantamount to political fraud. The republicans and unfortunately a few democrats have no confidence in their own system. If president Obama's policies fail then the republicans win next time. Sounds simple doesn't it. But no! The ultra right-wing conservative reactionaries know that won't be the case. Lets take health-care reform.
The European experience frightens them. Government run health care in europe works, and works very well indeed. Woe betide any political party that tried to dismantle it. President Obama needs, not only to change the pathetique American health care that exists at the moment. But change it properly, with the public option intact, (as practiced in Europe). And while he's at it alter the system and become a real DEMOCRACY.

Posted by: shiradez | January 11, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

I am starting to thing we are never going to get over this administrations blunders, Whether you’re for or against…fact is there’s got to be a problem if we can’t stop talking about the dreaded “Health Bill”. I found this interesting though…take a look

Posted by: markmarksis | January 10, 2010 8:26 PM | Report abuse

The rush is due to the fact that Scott Brown the Republican candidate to fill Ted Kennedy's seat in the Senate may win. If that happens the Demorats lose their 60th vote. It is already being reported that in another sleazy tactic the Demorats will delay swearing in Scott Brown so the POS filling the seat can vote for this monstrosity.

The stench of corruption and Chicago sleaze this administration has brought to DC is becoming an EPA violation.

If you want to help Scott Brown and help put a stop to health care, cap and tax, amnesty for illegals and the march to statism then make a donation here:

Posted by: Bubbette1 | January 10, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

What’s the rush and excitement with this ‘historical, earth shaking’ health care reform bill that will go in effect four years from now. None of the ‘immediate benefits’ such as increased taxes, pre-existing condition or being able to get ‘affordable’ insurance fazes me.

I need a job first before I can take ‘advantage’ of this most ‘historical legislation’. As long as I am out of work I can’t pay taxes and can’t afford insurance anyway. What’s puzzling to me, however, is that the bill sheds absolutely no light on the way the IRS is going to collect the penalty from me for not being insured. But then again, the bill is a piece of art in progress, never done, but it could morph into something yet.

Obviously, without a job all the hype sounds much like the squealing of greedy pigs trying to get their snouts into the feeding trough. See you in the ER!.

Posted by: west129 | January 10, 2010 2:39 AM | Report abuse

This bill requires every single American to buy whatever the existing for-profit insurance companies are selling. It DOES NOT LOWER ANYONE'S PREMIUMS.

Posted by: miriamac2001 | January 10, 2010 12:40 AM | Report abuse


HEY once again the DEMS & ACLU think USA PUBLIC is too stupid to notice----

IF YOU ARE NOT GETTING THE MEDS & HEALTHCARE you need----then YOU are NOT getting healthcare while they DISGUISE IT by calling it healthcare.

seek legislative and LEGAL action to get SOC HEALTHCARE co-ops & public option & stimulus and bailout kicked out see American center for law and justice OR GOOGLE the problems with socialized health care OR GOOGLE OR GOOGLE OR OR health science institute OR or US Justice Foundation or

Posted by: moonstream1 | January 9, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

URENT TO TEAM OBAMA (via Rahm Emanuel): "First, Do No Harm."


* Thousands of Americans, deemed to be "dissidents" or undesirables, targeted by Bush legacy program for debilitating, cell tower and satellite microwave/laser assault, held hostage in their own homes to fed-supported vigilante "community policing" stalking units, equipped with warrantless GPS devices, who vandalize and terrorize as local police look the other way.

* "Directed energy weapons" -- a nationwide installation employing cell towers and satellites -- induce weakness, exhaustion, mood changes, pain, head and body aches, physical and neurological impairment, strokes, aneurysms, cancer -- and many victims do not realize what is making them sick.

* Regional Homeland Security- administered "fusion centers" reportedly serve as command centers for covert electromagnetic radiation attacks, pervasive surveillance, financial sabotage of those identified as "dissidents," "trouble-makers" or slandered as threats to society.

* Use of microwave weaponry to torture and impair political opponents recently confirmed by deposed Honduras President Manuel Zelaya.

* Pleas for justice, to local police and FBI, go unanswered -- as do demands for a Department of Justice Civil Rights Division investigation and congressional hearings.

"These are crimes against humanity and the Constitution, being perpetrated under the cover of national security and 'safe streets' by multiple federal and local agencies and commands -- an American genocide hiding in plain sight, enabled by the naivete of those who think 'it can't happen here.'" -- Victor Livingston, former reporter for WTXF-TV Philadelphia, Phila. Bulletin, N.Y. Daily News, St. Petersburg Times; producer/host, MSG Network Sports Business Report; columnist,


See: ("Groups -- REPORTING" section); OR OR (see "stories" list).

Posted by: scrivener50 | January 9, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

I find the actions of Reid, Pelosi, and the Obama Administration repugnant. If they spent one quarter of their time on securing the help of the minority party in building a truly American healthcare reform package, it would be far superior than the "Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader" show we are being forced to watch...complete with buyouts, probably constitutional violations, and other politically inspired....not policy inspired, politically inspired...nonsense we seem to be awfully quiet about as the so-called Conference Committee of the House and Senate...oops, almost forgot the Administration....choose not to meet, but to influence this terribly important legislation for our country. This whole charade is nothing more than unadulteration animal dung, and it is beginning to smell in the noses of the American folks you sent these "legislators" to represent us...not themselves......scrap this nonsense...force 2 party involvement....even if it takes us to a new Administration in Washington.

Posted by: connyankee1 | January 9, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

This is the HC bill in a nut the republicans are blocking it...well if you can do grade school arithmetic you know this is a load of manure...the dems are fighting and BRIBING among themselves...dems there are people dying in the streets from no health care... well they better buck up they have four more years to do it...put it on C-span you got to be kidding do you really think we the people KNOW all the closed door deals that were made...we only know the ones that the senators needed to be known so their voters did not eat them alive. I am sure there are a heck of a lot more floating out there in fine print some where in this in plain words it is a mess a big mess...throw this crap out be serious about it and work in front of the cameras work some thing out that we the people can swallow this I am afraid will NEVER go down...if Obama wants to make history do it the right way do it for the PEOPLE not the PARTY...and I am not a republican I have always been an INDEPENDENT...This will not get a dem elected but a real attempt to get it right will help some what but there are a lot of things this country are fed up with this is just the tip of the iceberg...We the people are hurting and there is no end insight, we think taxes are bad now just wait till all this hits we are done.. the ordinary working family will work for the government and our children will do without... so in a nut shell who do you want to work for the betterment of your family or the big wigs in DC??? It is up to you...

Posted by: Immanurse | January 9, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

This Obama B.S. has got to stop. The only thing that is crucial is to get him and his fellow progressive socialists out of office before they totally destroy the U.S.A.

Posted by: sandynh | January 9, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

President Obama is right. Health care reform is crucial. This nation needs to change the trend of the last eight years which was to favor the huge corporations and their rich CEOs as they decimated the middle class, caused ordinary people to lose jobs, homes, health care and retirement savings so they could get richer.

Health care reform is the first step in restoring the balance and reviving the middle class. Get it done and go on to the other things that need to be done.

Posted by: tinyjab40 | January 9, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Well America, we have been fooled...Obama ran on a platform of "Change" and man did we get what he promised. We went from a free America to...a Socialist State; we went from a credo that if you work hard and go to school you will succeed, nothing and the government will support you. Welcome to the new Obamination!!!
Save our country and vote the extremists from both parties out of office in November, Congresses unconstitutional actions can be reversed before too much damage is done to our country and our way of life.

Posted by: brooklynborn1 | January 9, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

The Obama Plan
What is Obama trying to do with all this spending? He is trying to cause a collapse. Why would he cause a collapse? A collapse is the only way that you could stage a massive takeover of the united states. He has already built the frame work for this takeover. So what is holding him up. The Health Care bill is a key part in causing this collapse. The amount of money that will be required to fund the Health Care bill is a key player. If the Health Care bill passes; Then other planned bills will complete the collapse process. This is why I have called on every single American to do whatever is in their means to stop this takeover. May GOD walk with you and protect you in your journey to save America. The Anti-Christ is here and his name is Obama.

Posted by: makom | January 9, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, we'll all feel more "secure" after he taxes the crap out of us for the next four years to pay for this monstrosity.

Posted by: drumcrn1 | January 9, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

He's doing a great job. We were losing 700,000 jobs per month last year today.We've gone from losing jobs by the hundreds of thousands to losing jobs by the tens of thousands. That's improvement and a clear trend in the right direction. Nobody would have predicted one year ago that with the economy in the shape that was in that we'd have shown this much improvement this quickly. It's only been a year, and we've cut job losses by over 80%. Meanwhile, we're on the verge of insuring 30 million more Americans. Great job Mr. President. Hopefully all these backseat drivers will get out of your way and let you do your job.

Posted by: onifadee | January 9, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

This Health Care Plan is a critical foundation to the globalists/progressives Marxist take-over/usurpation of Our country - it's about CONTROL.

Know the TRUTH about the Government Health Care Bill H.R.3200 - Key Points

This Treason MUST be STOPPED!

"All laws which are repugnant to the Constitution are null and void." Marbury vs. Madison

"No one is bound to obey an unconstitutinal law and no courts are bound to enforce it." 16 Am Jur 2d, Sec 177 late 2d. Sec 256

"An unconstitutional act is not law; it confers no rights; it imposes no duties; affords no protection; it creates no office; it is in legal contemplation, as inoperative as though it had never been passed." Norton vs. Shelby County

"Where rights secured by the Constitution are involved, there can be no rule making or legislaion which would abrogate them." Miranda vs. Arizona

Our Constitution WILL NOT defend itself...

Posted by: AJAX2 | January 9, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

i wonder how many of our 40 million uninsured are complaining about changes that might allow them to use something other than extraordinarily expensive emergency rooms as their primary source of health care. one of my best friends is able to provide full time employment for about 10 workers who average more than 30k, but he cannot afford the nearly 100k annully quote he received for low end fully family coverage for them even with high co-pays and exclusions and employees contributing almost 150k. except for a brief bubble during the clinton years, federal government policy since the reagan years has concentrated wealth ever upward while drastically reducing the middle class able to buy homes and cars, send their kids to public colleges and retire with some dignity. we seem to be coming to resemble the old south (or a 3rd world country) with a 5% ownership class and 95% peasants kept amused with bread and circuses.

Posted by: george32 | January 9, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Any chance on some security for the very needy "lower" classes????? TFL, Ken

Posted by: kentigereyes | January 9, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Congress has been pushing the recent badly written health care policy because they are fearful of losing their careers, political correctness, pressure from lobbying groups and the White House. Our elected officials have taken a once promising plan to reduce health cost and made it corrupt and costly through closed doors meetings, earmarks/pork and backroom deals. Congresses excuse for this behavior is “that’s the way we do business in Washington”. That is no longer acceptable as I cannot tolerate anymore lies, deceit and unethical actions by our politicians. I want my country represented by the people and not by Washington bureaucrats and tricksters.

Where is the transparency and bipartisanship that was promised to us during the last election? Why is Congress not allowing a full open debate of the bill? How can it be Constitutional for an individual to be fined or jailed for refusing to become a part of the government plan or any health care plan? If passed, this bill threatens my private and personal health care between me and my physician and will include a federal government bureaucrat – appointed by the President. I say no legislation instead of bad legislation.

Posted by: 45upnorth | January 9, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Obama is narcisstic and only wants to see himself as a legacy. He does not care what the people want, as is obvious in his actions.

This health care bill is a monstrosity and will be an albatross to small businesses, further damaging job growth. It will also be a huge tax burden on the states; therefore, to the people.

The plan to create green jobs is ludicrous. More tax money to promote jobs in a jobs sector that doesn't exist. It does not exist because it is not viable.

Obama continues to ignore the real problems in an attempt to push his own selfish agendas, and the American people can see this. He will go down in history, but not in the manner he wishes.

Posted by: inmanorj | January 9, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

When you elect a Black man, you get one.

Posted by: tjhall1 | January 9, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

One of the most important issue to address is that the elderly and the caregivers will get more benefits and not any reduced benefits. Presdient Obama should talk about it to get the 55 yrs and older people behind him.
Dr. Eva Mor in her new book-
"Making the Golden Years Golden" talks about the caregivers issue -more then 15 millions Americans taking care of their parents and/or relatives. Dr. Mor brings the pros and cons of the system as well as benefits and where one should take adventage. She also writes where to turn for help. a lot of the information is on the site:

Posted by: sabraboy | January 9, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

I am so pleased the President Obama said: "The buck stops with me. " Of course, that is, except for 100 percent of the time when it is Bush's fault, according to Obama.

Man up Mr. President. Stop blaming everything on other people!

Posted by: cpameetingbook | January 9, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Like a bunch of mad scientists, Obama and the other crazed Democrats have created a Frankenstein of a health bill from spare body parts dug up from graveyards in the dark of night. Their stitched-together, out-of-control monster is now staggering around, madly flailing its arms, and shooting off sparks.

Anyone who touches this Frankenstein will get the shock of their lives. And I have a feeling that the monster created by the Democrats is about to turn on them.

Posted by: Jerzy | January 9, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

How Barry Stole Freedom!

Most Americans
In America
Liked freedom a lot...

But Barry
Who lived in the White House
Did NOT!

Barry hated freedom! The whole Congressional season
Now, please don't ask why. No one quite knows the reason.
It could be, perhaps Pelosi's head wasn't screwed on just right.
It could be, perhaps, that Reid's re-election coffers were too tight!
But we think that the most likely reason of all
May have been that his heart was two sizes too small.

Whatever the reason,
His heart or Nancy's head,
Barry stood there on the State of the Union Eve, thinking with dread.

Staring down from his cave with a sour, Grinchy frown
At the meeting hall windows from town to town.

For he thought every American was to his mind beneath
As they worried about him taking Medicare's teeth.

"And they're taking their polls!" he snarled with a sneer.
"The State of the Union! It's practically here!"

Then he growled, with his Grinch fingers nervously drumming,
"I MUST find some way to stop Committee-votes from coming!"

For, this summer he said...
the time for talking was over,
But the tea parties words brought some Americans sober.

The majority spoke early
For the future girls and boys,
But, the Dems, they screamed
Oh, the noise. Oh! the Noise! Noise! Noise! Noise!
That's one thing we hate!
The majority's NOISE! NOISE! NOISE! NOISE!

Then, Barry got an idea!
An awful idea!

"I know just what to do!" Barry laughed in his throat
"We'll make certain we'll have just one steam-rolled vote!"

Then, he slithered and slunk with a smile most unpleasant,
Around the Dem Congress, be bought them with presents.

And you know, that old Barry, so rotten and so slick,
He thought up a lie, and he thought it up quick!
"We'll rob all they have, and blame it on Dick!"

"They'll believe anything with the news on our side.
So c'mon, and let's take America for a ride!"

Posted by: kwoods2 | January 9, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

typicle marxist - to allegedly provide heath care for 20 million people you have to nationalize it for 300 million people.

Posted by: infantry11b4faus | January 9, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

I would hope that he addresses the concerns of the governors of the States regarding th new mandates and how they will pay for them?

This bill will bust not only the budgets of the States but also will increase the Federal deficit once the accounting frauds are included.

Posted by: mwhoke | January 9, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

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