These are ordinary Americans, no different than anyone else, held hostage by health insurance companies that deny them coverage, or drop their coverage, or charge fees that they can't afford for care they desperately need.
It's wrong. It's hurting too many families and businesses. And we're going to fix it when we pass health insurance reform this year.
No one is holding the insurance companies accountable for these practices. But we will. We're going to ban arbitrary caps on benefits. And we'll place limits on how much you can be charged for out-of-pocket expenses. No one in America should go broke because they get sick.This tack comes at precisely the same time that Democrats are backing off the "public option." According to the Politico (via Memeorandum)
After the toughest week yet for health reform, leading Democrats are warning that the party likely will have to accept major compromises to get a bill passed this year – perhaps even dropping a proposal to create a government-run plan that is almost an article of faith among some liberals ....Still, even though the "robust public option" is apparently off the table, the president's comments this week indicate that aggressive insurance regulation is likely, including an "insurance mandate" of public insurance to "compete" with private companies (different line, same baloney).
In two town halls so far, Obama has spent far more time talking up the need to reform the insurance system than making a full-throated pitch for the public insurance option.
Here's President Obama disussing insurance "options" in Grand Junction:
... if you like your health care plan, you can keep your health plan. If you like your doctor, you can keep seeing your doctor. I don't want government bureaucrats meddling in your health care - but the point is, I don't want insurance company bureaucrats meddling in your health care either. So if you're one of the nearly 46 million people who don't have health insurance, you will finally have quality, affordable options.But note this comment from the Heritage Foundation:
Although he once opposed the idea, President Obama is now open to the imposition of an individual mandate that would require all Americans to have federally approved health insurance. This unprecedented federal directive not only takes away your individual freedom but could cost you as well. Lawmakers are considering a penalty or tax for those who don't buy government-approved health plans.The fact is that President Obama still wants a public national healthcare program - ObamaCare - and he's making some tactical adjustments to his public relations campaign. No matter what happens, the Democrats will attack the private marketplace and will likely frustrate private competition and consumer choice. Thus, conservatives have to keep the pressure on all the way into September and beyond. Kill health reform altoghether, if the Democrats are going to be driving the legislation.
See also, CNN, "'Arbitrary' health care policies would end, Obama tells town hall," and the New York Times, "Obama Says Insurers Are Trying to Block Change."