President addresses healthcare at OFA press conference

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During a live press conference this afternoon, hosted by the Organization for America, (OFA) President Barack Obama took to the podium with one intent–to clarify his plans regarding health care reform.

After a quick introduction by Beth Kimbriel, an OFA volunteer from Virginia, he addressed the crowd amid applause. Rolling up his shirt sleeves, he stated firmly that Americans should not lose heart.

"Look at what we have accomplished so far," he said, detouring into a quick list of successes.

Some of those things include new tax breaks for 95% of working families and putting more people back to work building bridges, hospitals, and roads.

"We’re not out of the woods, but more people have been able to keep their homes," he said. "We should be proud. Confident, but not complacent."

Although the atomosphere was energetic, nothing derailed from the seriousness of the topic at hand–healthcare.

So many Americans have been misinformed. Healthcare reform is not to be feared, Obama said, indicating that the new plan will allow Americans to keep their existing doctor or their existing plan if they want.

"No one is going to take that away from you," he said. "We simply want to provide affordable options to those in working America who are self-employed, underemployed or without insurance."

This is not about providing health care for the underserved community, as most of them already have medicaid, he said.

Healthcare reform is about providing a public option to those working, who can not afford health insurance premiums.

It is also about reforming Medicaid for the long term, he continued. Ultimately, that means better benefits for Seniors and a more sustainable program in the long run.

Medicaid is going to run out of money in eight years, Obama said.

For that reason, this reform is not about taking insurance away from seniors, but insuring that they have quality care available to them in the future and insuring that they have the ability to pay for the medications that they need.

During the press conference, an audience member raised their hand to ask a question–They wanted to know if the President had any suggestions on how to motivate Americans to make healthier choices.

In the preceding discussion, Obama talked about farmers. "At this moment, we’re trying to get local farmers to the school districts to provide school children with healthier eating options," he said. "Everyone is excited about the potential, but we don’t have a distribution method yet."

Overall, Obama encouraged Americans to stay informed and challenged reporters far and wide to refute misinformation when they see it published.

Healthcare reform is part of the "Change" he wants to see as President– as far too many Americans live without it, he said.

Last Updated ( Friday, 21 August 2009 )