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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Excerpts from the President's Remarks on Health Insurance Reform Today

Please find below excerpts from President Obama’s remarks this afternoon as prepared for delivery:

“I don’t believe we should give government bureaucrats or insurance company bureaucrats more control over health care in America.  I believe it’s time to give the American people more control over their own health insurance.  I don’t believe we can afford to leave life-and-death decisions about health care to the discretion of insurance company executives alone.  I believe that doctors and nurses like the ones in this room should be free to decide what’s best for their patients. 

The proposal I’ve put forward gives Americans more control over their health care by holding insurance companies more accountable.  It builds on the current system where most Americans get their health insurance from their employer.  If you like your plan, you can keep your plan.  If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.  Because I can tell you that as the father of two young girls, I wouldn’t want any plan that interferes with the relationship between a family and their doctor.”

“So this is our proposal.  This is where we’ve ended up.  It’s an approach that has been debated and changed and I believe improved over the last year.  It incorporates the best ideas from Democrats and Republicans – including some of the ideas that Republicans offered during the health care summit, like funding state grants on medical malpractice reform and curbing waste, fraud, and abuse in the health care system.  My proposal also gets rid of many of the provisions that had no place in health care reform – provisions that were more about winning individual votes in Congress than improving health care for all Americans.” 

“At stake right now is not just our ability to solve this problem, but our ability to solve any problem.  The American people want to know if it’s still possible for Washington to look out for their interests and their future.  They are waiting for us to act.  They are waiting for us to lead.  And as long as I hold this office, I intend to provide that leadership.  I don’t know how this plays politically, but I know it’s right.  And so I ask Congress to finish its work, and I look forward to signing this reform into law.”