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President Obama Delivers Remarks on Health Care Costs

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Monday, May 11, 2009; 12:59 PM

SPEAKER: PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA

[*] OBAMA: All right. Well, I just concluded an extraordinarily productive meeting with organizations and associations that are going to be essential to the work of health care reform in this country, groups that represent everyone from union members to insurance companies, from doctors and hospitals to pharmaceutical companies. And it was a meeting that focused largely on one of the central challenges that we must confront as we seek to achieve comprehensive reform and lay a new foundation for our economy, and that is the spiraling cost of health care in this country.

OBAMA: They're here because they recognize one clear, indisputable fact: When it comes to health care spending, we are on an unsustainable course that threatens the financial stability of families, businesses, and government itself.

This is not news to the American people, who over the last decade have seen their out-of-pocket experiences soar, health care costs rise, and premiums double at a rate four times faster than their wages.

Today, half of all personal bankruptcies stem from medical expenses, and too many Americans are skipping that checkup they know they should get or going without that prescription that would make them feel better or finding some other way to scrimp and save on their health care expenses.

What is a growing crisis for the American people is also becoming an untenable burden for American businesses. Rising health care costs are commanding more and more of the money that our companies could be using to innovate and to grow, making it harder for them to compete around the world.


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