Daily Tax Update - January 25, 2010

OBAMA: I WON’T “WALK AWAY” FROM HEALTH CARE REFORM”: During a town hall meeting in Ohio Friday, President Obama said that he is not giving up on health care reform. The President said, “I didn’t take up this issue to boost my poll numbers or score political points—believe me, if I were, I would have picked something a lot easier than this. No, I’m trying to solve the problems that folks here in Elyria and across this country face every day. And I am not going to walk away just because it’s hard. We’re going to keep on working to get this done with Democrats, Republicans—anyone who is willing to step up. Because I am not going to watch more people get crushed by costs, or denied the care they need by insurance company bureaucrats, or partisan politics, or special interest power in Washington.”

  • The President added, “First of all, because there’s been so much attention focused on this health care issue this week, I just want to emphasize not the myths but the reality of what is trying to—that both the House and the Senate bill were trying to accomplish, because it’s actually very simple. There are a bunch of provisions in it, but it’s pretty simple. No. 1, for those of you who have health insurance, we are trying to get in place reforms that make sure you are getting your money’s worth for the insurance that you pay for. The President continued, “So the second thing we’ve been trying to do is to make sure that we’re setting up an exchange, which is just a big pool so that people who are individuals, who are self-employed, who are small business owners, they can essentially join a big pool of millions of people all across the country, which means that when you go to negotiate with your insurance company, you’ve got the purchasing power of a Ford or a G.M. or Wal-Mart or a Xerox or the federal employees. That’s why federal employees have good insurance, and county employees and state employees have good insurance, in part is because they’re part of this big pool. And our attitude is, can we make sure that everybody is part of a big pool to drive down costs? That’s the second thing we’re trying to do. Third thing we’re trying to do is to try to reduce costs overall because the system — how many of you, you go into the doctor’s office, you fill out a form, you get a checkup, you go fill out another form, somebody else asks you for the form you just filled out. Then the doctor fills out a form, you got to take it to the pharmacist. The pharmacist can’t read the doctor’s — this is the only industry in the country that still does that, that still operates on paper systems, that still orders all kinds of unnecessary tests.” The President added, “So I just want to be clear that there are things that have to get done. This is our best chance to do it. We can’t keep on putting this off... The point is this: None of the big issues that we face in this country are simple. Everybody wants to act like they’re simple. Everybody wants to say that they can be done easily. But they’re complicated. They’re tough. The health care system is a big, complicated system, and doing it right is hard.”

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