ABC News’ Yunji de Nies and Sunlen Miller report:
President Barack Obama kept up the drumbeat on health care reform, with a short speech in the Rose Garden this afternoon. With nurses from the American Nurses Association by his side, some in signature scrubs, the President said that lawmakers can no longer “kick the can down the road.”
“This is a problem we can no longer wait to fix. Deferring reform is nothing more than defending the status quo – and those who would oppose our efforts should take a hard look at just what it is they’re defending.”
The President repeated his assertion that the current healthcare system is unsustainable, and said that ultimately reform will pay off.
“You’ll save money,” President Obama said, “If you lose your job, change your job, or start a new business, you’ll still be able to find quality health insurance you can afford. If you have a preexisting medical condition, no insurance company will be able to deny you coverage. You won’t have to worry about being priced out of the market. You won’t have to worry about one illness leading your family into financial ruin. That’s what reform means.”
The President praised lawmakers in the House and Senate for the work they’ve done so far, as an example of bipartisanship
“Yesterday, the House introduced its health reform proposal. And today, thanks to the unyielding passion and inspiration provided by Senator Edward M. Kennedy, and the bold leadership of Senator Chris Dodd, the Senate HELP Committee reached a major milestone by passing a similarly strong proposal for health reform. It’s a plan that was debated for more than 50 hours and includes more than 160 Republican amendments – a hopeful sign of bipartisan support for the final product,” the President said, “This progress should make us hopeful – but it shouldn’t make us complacent. It should instead provide the urgency for both the House and the Senate to finish their critical work on health reform before the August recess.”
Today, ABC’s Medical Editor Dr. Tim Johnson will interview President Obama on the subject of health care. Watch World News with Charles Gibson to see his report.
–Yunji de Nies and Sunlen Miller