President Obama’s press conference, if anything, was designed to cut through the clutter and answer the simple question: Why health reform? He put it in the context of economic recovery, and or long-term deficit reduction, of the state of our health system, but ultimately he made the direct pitch about how it will benefit the average American–the voter.
This is not just about the 47 million Americans who don’t have any health insurance at all. Reform is about every American who has ever feared that they may lose their coverage, if they become too sick or lose their job or change their job.
It’s about every small business that has been forced to lay off employees or cut back on their coverage, because it became too expensive. It’s about the fact that the biggest driving force behind our federal deficit is the skyrocketing cost of Medicare and Medicaid.
So let me be clear. If we do not control these costs, we will not be able to control our deficit. If we do not reform health care, your premiums and out-of-pocket costs will continue to skyrocket.
If we don’t act, 14,000 Americans will continue to lose their health insurance every single day. These are the consequences of inaction. These are the stakes of the debate that we’re having right now. I realize that with all the charges and criticisms that are being thrown around in Washington, a lot of Americans may be wondering: What’s in this for me? How does my family stand to benefit from health-insurance reform?
If you have health insurance, the reform we’re proposing will provide you with more security and more stability. It will keep government out of health care decisions, giving you the option to keep your insurance if you’re happy with it. It’ll prevent insurance companies from dropping your coverage if you get too sick. It will give you the security of knowing that if you lose your job, if you move, or if you change your job, you’ll still be able to have coverage.
It will limit the amount your insurance company can force you to pay for your medical costs out of your own pocket. And it will cover preventive care, like check-ups and mammograms, that save lives and money.
Now, if you don’t have health insurance, or you’re a small business looking to cover your employees, you’ll be able to choose a quality affordable health plan through a health insurance exchange, in a marketplace that promotes choice and competition
And finally, no insurance company will be allowed to deny you coverage because of a preexisting medical condition.