Barack Obama – President The Final March For Reform
Hello, everybody, many of you were involved in our campaign to bring change to this country, and over the course of a long fought two years, we held together against so really tough odds, and so pretty tough opposition, but we won because of you. Because ordinary Americans from every walk of life, knocked on doors and talked to their neighbors, and mad their voices heard, because you demanded change in Washington. That’s the kind of determination we need right now, when it comes to reforming our system of health care insurance. When we started this journey, we heard those same voices of doubt that we heard on the campaign, the prudence and the cynics saying, we ought to set our sites lower, that we should give up, turn back, except less than the change that we all know is necessary. But I have never excepted that, and neither have you. Not when families and small businesses can’t afford insurance. Now when folks are being denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions, or thrown off the insurance rolls because they got sick, not when people are seeing huge out of pocket costs, and premiums rising by, 10, 20, or 30 percent, and not when rising health care costs are sinking our country deeper and deeper into debt. That’s why I put forward a proposal that would do three things: First it would end the worst practices of insurance companies, no longer would insurances be able to deny you coverage because of a pre-existing condition, or drop your coverage because you got sick. And they wouldn’t be able to charge unlimited amounts for out of pocket expenses or arbitrarily raise premiums. Second, we would give small businesses and people who don’t get insurance at work, the same choice of private health insurance, that members of congress would get. Because if its good enough for members of congress its good enough for the people who pay their salaries. And if you still can’t afford insurance in this new market place, then we will offer you tax credits based on your income. Third, my proposal would bring down the cost, of health care for millions, for families and businesses, and for the federal government, and would extend the life of medicare. We have now incorporated most serious ideas from across the political spectrum, about how to rain in rising costs, ideas that go after waste and abuse, while reducing errors and improving care for people. In fact much of this proposal draws on the best of the ideas of democrats and republicans, including some of the ideas that republicans offer during the health care summit, we held last week. And that meeting capped off a debate that lasted the better part of a year. So now is the time. So now is our change to truly make a meaningful progress that will mean a greater security in the lives of all Americans, That will give people, not insurance companies, or the government, more control over their health care, and I need your help. Nearly three million of you, have already taken action in support of reform. You’ve organized over 25,000 events and made over a million calls to members of Congress, and you’ve pledged to volunteer, nearly 9 million hours, to the campaigns of members of congress and candidates who are fighting for reform. But in these next few days of decision, I need to enlist you once more. The special interests are marshaling their forces for one last fight to say the status quo. And we can’t let that happen. That’s why I’m asking you to summon the energy, the commitment and the drive, that has fueled this movement since day one.
I need you to work the phones, walk the streets, talk to your neighbors, and de-bunct the myths about our plans in this final march for reform. And I need your help in emerging all Americans who want this reform, to make their voices heard too, every parent, every business owner, every patient, every doctor, every nurse. There are countless stories to remind us, what’s in stake in this fight. On of them is about a women who volunteered for our campaign, she put off a medical exam she needed, because even with insurance she couldn’t afford it, a year latter she discovered she had cancer, and in the years that followed, she fought not just to beat her illness, but to change our health insurance system. So no one else would go through what she did. She died a few weeks ago. She was 41 years old. I’m hear because men and women like her, stood up and demanded change, I’m hear because of you, and if we succeed in this historic effort to improve our health care system, it will be because of you as well. Yes, this is gonna be a fight to the finish, but we are used to those. And together I’m confident that we can win this fight, that we can succeed, in the great enterprise to move our country forward, thanks so much.
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