The President's Speech to the Catholic Health Association on Health Care in America
Today, at the invitation of the Catholic Health Association, President Obama will address their annual conference and thank them for their dedication to helping ensure all Americans have access to health care. The President will discuss how the passage of the Affordable Care Act reflects our values and the kind of country we strive to be. He will also describe how the Affordable Care Act has become part of the fabric of an improved American health care system, one where we and our children can rely on health security throughout our lives, and make the most of our opportunities as a result.
Additionally, the White House released updated data on how the Affordable Care Act is working in every state in the country. Five years after healthcare reform became a reality, more than 16 million Americans have gained coverage, and the Affordable Care Act has improved coverage for virtually everyone who already had insurance. Americans can no longer be discriminated against for having pre-existing conditions, women can't be charged more just for being women, and there are no longer lifetime limits on the care Americans receive. And hospitals, doctors and other providers are changing the way they operate to deliver better care at lower cost.
The White House also launched a new interactive long form webpage -- "Health Care in America" -- which includes an embedded letter to the President written by the late Senator Ted Kennedy as he endured brain cancer, having instructed his wife to send the letter to the President after he passed away. A lifelong champion for health reform, Senator Kennedy encouraged the President to endure the fight for health care reform and thanked him "one last time" for carrying it forward. The page also includes an interactive timeline that contextualizes a century-long fight for real health reform in America, dozens of stories of Americans whose lives have benefited from reform, and a live player that will stream the President's remarks tomorrow.
President Obama’s remarks will be livestreamed HERE, and excerpts of his prepared remarks are included below:
“The rugged individualism that defines America has always been bound by a set of shared values; an enduring sense that we are in this together. That America is not a place where we simply ignore the poor or turn away from the sick. It’s a place sustained by the idea that I am my brother’s keeper and I am my sister’s keeper. That we have an obligation to put ourselves in our neighbor’s shoes, and to see the common humanity in each other.
So after nearly a century of talk, after decades of trying, after a year of sustained debate, we finally made health care reform a reality for America.”
“Five years in, what we’re talking about is no longer just a law. This isn’t about the Affordable Care Act. This isn’t about Obamacare. This isn’t about myths or rumors that won’t go away.
This is reality. This is health care in America.”
“There are outcomes we can calculate – the number of newly insured families, the number of lives saved. And those numbers add up to success.
Then there are the outcomes that are harder to calculate – yes, in the tally of pain and tragedy and bankruptcies that have been averted, but also in the security of a parent who can afford to take her kid to the doctor. The dignity of a grandfather who can get the preventive care he needs. The freedom of an entrepreneur who can start a new venture. The joy of a wife who thought she’d never again take her husband’s hand and go for a walk in God’s creation.”