Oberstar Responds to Obama’s Health Care Address
Washington DC – Congressman Jim Oberstar made the following statement at the conclusion of President Barack Obama’s address on health care reform to a joint session of Congress:
Tonight, President Obama made a ringing appeal for reform of our health insurance sector, inspiring the Democratic base in the House and throughout the country. He directly attacked the egregious myths about health reform and called them what they are – “lies.”
The President was very specific, as he needed to be: there are no death panels in this bill, no coverage of illegal immigrants and no funding of abortion. He promised to hold insurance company bureaucrats accountable for corporate abuses such as denying policy holders coverage in order to improve corporate profits. He was also very specific about protections in the bill, if you move, change your job, lose your job, or even start you own small business, you should not lose your health insurance. Those are protections in this bill.
There will be no denial for preexisting conditions, no dropped coverage, no arbitrary corporate cap on your coverage, but there will be a limit on your out of pocket costs. He was very clear about building on what works and fixing what doesn’t and he clearly placed the public option as coverage of last resort for those who have no other means of obtaining health insurance. The public option will be a fiscally responsible plan, living on its own premiums but without the egregious and excessive profits of corporate executives.
President Obama was blunt with opponents for their campaign of demagogy and distortion, calling it like it is and looking directly at those who persist in spreading falsehoods. But his best moment was his closing appeal to our larger spirits, our common ideals and compassion for one another.
This speech will energize the House and the Senate to move health insurance reform through to completion in this session of Congress, as we must.