It was a beautiful day in the Keystone State where earlier today President Obama spoke at Arcadia University in Glenside, PA. He addressed an energized crowd about the urgent need for health care reform in the face of rapidly rising health care costs. The President cited a recent conference call by Goldman Sachs in which an insurance broker told investors to expect insurance companies to continue to raise premiums because they know that they can turn more of a profit on customers they keep, despite pricing more and more people out of the market.
So how much higher do premiums have to rise until we do something about it? How many more Americans have to lose their health insurance? How many more businesses have to drop coverage?
The President emphasized the sky-rocketing costs of health care, as exemplified by the woman who introduced him. Leslie Banks is a self-employed single mother with type 2 diabetes whose insurance provider recently notified her that her premiums would be more than doubling. To maintain the same monthly rate, her deductible would shoot from $500 to $5,000 and she would lose preventative care and prescription coverage. With a pre-existing condition keeping her from joining the company's HMO, Leslie is stuck between a rock and a hard place. With health reform, people like Leslie and her daughter will experience relief from such practices.
The President also called for an up-or-down vote from Congress, and said it is what the American people deserve.
The United States Congress owes the American people a final, up or down vote on health care. It’s time to make a decision. The time for talk is over. We need to see where people stand.