Obama Says Liberal Critics Are Overlooking Gains In Health Bill
In an interview with NPR, "President Obama hit back at critics within his own party over the landmark health care overhaul packages moving through Congress."
"This notion I know among some on the left that somehow this bill is not everything that it should be ... I think just ignores the real human reality that this will help millions of people and end up being the most significant piece of domestic legislation at least since Medicare and maybe since Social Security," Obama said during the interview at the White House. He also "told NPR that he supports a key provision in the Senate bill that would raise revenues to pay for the expansive plan by taxing insurers that provide so-called Cadillac plans, or high-end employer-paid insurance plans. 'I'm on record as saying that taxing Cadillac plans that don't make people healthier but just take more money out of their pockets because they are paying more for insurance than they need to do, that's actually a good idea,' he says. 'That helps to reduce the cost of health care over the long term.'"
But the president "added that the final financing method will likely be a blend of the House and Senate plans." The House bill does not tax Cadillac plans, relying "instead on taxing individuals making more than $500,000 and couples earning over $1 million."
"A number of the most significant provisions in the health care bill won't take effect for several years, but Obama insisted that Americans will start to notice some changes early. 'Right away, there are a whole host of insurance abuses that will be put to an end after this bill is signed so that through fine print, insurance companies can't suddenly drop you when you get sick,' he said" (Whitelaw 12/23).
The transcript for NPR's interview with Obama is available here.
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