President Obama: Federal Government ‘Will Go Bankrupt’ if Health Care Costs Are Not Reined In

By Sadie Bass

Dec 16, 2009 3:01pm

ABC's Karen Travers reports from Washington: President Obama told ABC News’ Charles Gibson in an interview that if Congress does not pass health care legislation that will bring down costs, the federal government “will go bankrupt.” The president laid out a dire scenario of what will happen if his health care reform effort fails. “If we don't pass it, here's the guarantee….your premiums will go up, your employers are going to load up more costs on you,” he said. “Potentially they're going to drop your coverage, because they just can't afford an increase of 25 percent, 30 percent in terms of the costs of providing health care to employees each and every year. ” The president said that the costs of Medicare and Medicaid are on an “unsustainable” trajectory and if there is no action taken to bring them down, “the federal government will go bankrupt.” “This actually provides us the best chance of starting to bend the cost curve on the government expenditures in Medicare and Medicaid,” Obama said. Watch Charlie Gibson’s interview with President Obama tonight on World News and check back on ABCNews.com for the full interview. Obama told Gibson that anybody who says they are concerned about the rising deficit or worried about tax increases in the future has to support 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. Obama is facing an increasingly skeptical American public when it comes to his push for health care reform. The latest ABC News/Washington Post poll found that support for the health care reform package, while never robust, is now at a low ebb and opposition has been steadily growing stronger in intensity. For the first time, a majority of those surveyed disapproved of the president’s work on health care (53 percent) and oppose the health care reform package making its way through Congress (51 percent, compared to 44 percent approval). That seven-point margin for opposition is its most to date – indeed statistically significant for the first time — and the differential in intensity of sentiment has grown since September. More on the ABC News/Washington Post poll HERE.

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