Obama Says Government Will Go Bankrupt Without Health Reforms To Rein In Costs
President Obama said in a Wednesday ABC News interview that if Congress fails to pass health care reform that reins in costs it will "bankrupt" the federal government. "'Anybody who says that they are concerned about deficit, concerned about debt, concerned about loading up taxes on future generations, you have to be supportive of this health care bill because if we don't do this, nobody argues with the fact that health care costs are going to consume the entire federal budget,' the president said" (Wolf and Khan, 12/16). ABC News also has a transcript of Obama's interview with Charles Gibson.
In the meantime, Bloomberg reports that in regard to the pending health overhaul, Obama's chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, has been "nudging the process at critical points, corralling powerful interests and coaxing members of Congress, said lobbyists, labor leaders, lawmakers and congressional staff. As he plays the inside game, Obama plays the outside game: Setting broad principles, building support beyond Washington, and applying pressure before important votes, as Obama did Dec. 15 in a meeting with Senate Democrats. This way, Emanuel can keep Obama in reserve to help close the deal" (Dorning, 12/17).
Finally, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius told a crowd of health care providers Wednesday in Baltimore that reform would save money and improve care for "millions of Americans who do not get all the mental health services they need," The Baltimore Sun reports. "Bills passed by the House and being debated in the Senate would require mental health and substance abuse coverage for people getting new coverage for physical care. Other legislation passed last year will require that insurers that provide physical coverage also provide an equal level of mental health coverage, Sebelius said" (Cohn, 12/17).