Oberstar Responds to Obama’s Health Care Address

Thursday, September 10th, 2009 at 5:21 am

oberstarWashington 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.


  1. Dianne 09/10/09 at 8:22am

    I take issue with your analysis of the following:

    1. No death panels – the house bill contained language requiring seniors to receive “end of life” government counseling every 5 years. Call it what you like.
    2. No coverage of illegal immigrants – the house bill remained silent on this issue, therefore, by ommission, according to numerous legal experts, affording immigrants coverage.
    3. No funding of abortion – what specific language is contained in the bill to deny coverage to persons having abortions?
    4. You say insurance company beaureaucrats are denying coverage to improve profits. You make it sound like a sin to earn profits. Capitalism is what our country was founded on…when did that become a dirty word?

    Granted, the insurance system needs reform, but the first thing to look at is tort reform. Obama refuses to put a cap on insurance settlements. Frivilous lawsuits and defensive medicine are the main reasons our premiums keep rising every year to pay off the attorneys. The attorneys then turn around and give big donations to the Democrats – it’s a vicious circle. People understand that and are infuriated!Why don’t politicians get it?

    Sadly, you have not been listening to the Americans over the past few months who have been resoundingly stating “leave our health insurance alone.” You represent more than the far left in your district and it would be wise if you would listen to the majority. I’m sure you’d be surprised how many middle-of-the-road voters put you in office.

    Lastly, how do you intend to pay for all Obama’s promises, i.e., no dropped coverage, no limit on out of pocket costs, and coverage for all?

    Our country is in the worst financial condition ever, with our children and grandchildren having to pay down a huge debt for bailing out banks and car dealers along with the stimulus bill and large budget increases, and you want to continue to spend and add more entitlements – YOU JUST DON’T GET IT!!!!!! WHERE IS THE MONEY COMING FROM?

    I went to your 45 minute meeting last month in Pine City with the farmers and not one word was said by you about health care – we were informed it was not on your agenda. UNBELIEVABLE.

  2. pine city farmer 09/10/09 at 2:21pm

    Good comments by the Congressmen, and to be fair he stayed at the meeting mentioned more than an hour and a half and everyone had a chance to speak, some 3 or 4 times!

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