The Chairman’s Weekly Radio Address: June 6, 2009

Barack Obama’s Weekly Radio Address

June 6, 2009

Over the past few days, I’ve been traveling through the Middle East and Europe working to renew our alliances, enhance our common security, and propose a new partnership between the United States and the Muslim world.

You can call it that, in fact, many do.  I mostly call it an apology, but hey–that’s just ME.  Oh yeah, psst, when, umm, are the, you know, Muslims going to step forward and propose a new relationship with the United States?

But even as I’m abroad, I’m firmly focused on the other pressing challenges we face – including the urgent need to reform our health care system.  Even as we speak, Congress is preparing to introduce and debate health reform legislation that is the product of many months of effort and deliberation.  And if you’re like any of the Americans I’ve met across this country who know all too well that the soaring costs of health care make our current course unsustainable, I imagine you’ll be watching their progress closely.

Closely.  Yeah, that’s a word.

I’m talking about the families I’ve met whose spiraling premiums and out-of-pocket expenses are pushing them into bankruptcy or forcing them to go without the check-ups or prescriptions they need.  Business owners who fear they’ll be forced to choose between keeping their doors open or covering their workers.  Americans who rightly worry that the ballooning costs of Medicare and Medicaid could lead to fiscal catastrophe down the road.

Okay, so really, turn down the lights and put away the mics.  Serious.  Medicare and Medicaid.  In a speech designed to convince me that we need to turn our health care system over to you, you bring up Medicare and Medicaid?  Maybe, just maybe, before you decide that you wanna add another program to our debt load, you would think that you would fix these two?  No?  how come?  Really, yeah….details….

Simply put, the status quo is broken.

Perhaps.  But I am SURE you have no clue as to why.

We cannot continue this way.  If we do nothing, everyone’s health care will be put in jeopardy.

Not true.  Not true at all.  See, people who continue to value health care will make sure that they have it.  Those that don’t, well, won’t.  But jeez, that would require that you have experience in the real world, and well, you don’t have that.  Do you?  My, how embarrassing.

Within a decade, we’ll spend one dollar out of every five we earn on health care – and we’ll keep getting less for our money.

Wanna talk about that whole “Less for our money thing”?  Did you know that the world’s wealthiest most powerful people come to America for medical care?  You know, King Hussein, you know, King of Jordan, traveled to a small farm town in the middle of Minnesota;s farm land to see a doctor.  Meanwhile, a small town teacher in the heart of the same farm community also drove to the Mayo for treatment.  Gotta hand it to those conniving merciless profiteers out there in Rochester.  Bastards!

That’s why fixing what’s wrong with our health care system is no longer a luxury we hope to achieve – it’s a necessity we cannot postpone any longer.

Postpone.  I suspect that’s a word you will get used to saying.  Perhaps not hearing.  Cause, well, you know, YOU won’t be expected to be covered by this crappy insurance.

The growing consensus around that reality has led an unprecedented coalition to come together for change.

Huh?  Flashback Presbo?  What in THEE hell are you talking about?

Unlike past attempts at reforming our health care system, everyone is at the table – patient’s advocates and health insurers; business and labor; Democrats and Republicans alike.

No one is at the table you crazy loon.  Just you.

A few weeks ago, some of these improbable allies committed to cut national health care spending by two trillion dollars over the next decade.  What makes this so remarkable is that it probably wouldn’t have happened just a few short years ago.

Right.  Along with the President of the United States firing a CEO, limiting executive pay and compensation and then just kinda shredding bankruptcy law.  But hell, who’s keepin’ score?

But today, at this historic juncture, even old adversaries are united around the same goal: quality, affordable health care for all Americans.

See, you politician speak on this one.  We all agree that “medical care” is high.  But you don’t wanna fix that.  Nope, no way.  What you wanna do is keep it high and then just make everybody pay for it.

Now, I know that when you bring together disparate groups with differing views, there will be lively debate.  And that’s a debate I welcome.

Welcome.  You keep using that word.  I do not think that word means what you think it means. /sexyspanishaccent

But what we can’t welcome is reform that just invests more money in the status quo – reform that throws good money after bad habits.

We must attack the root causes of skyrocketing health care costs.  Some of these costs are the result of unwarranted profiteering

See buster.  I KNEW you could do it.  Damn profiteers.  I mean really, who would think that modern economic theory was so so wrong!?

that has no place in our health care system, and in too many communities, folks are paying higher costs without receiving better care in return.  And yet we know, for example, that there are places like the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, and other institutions that offer some of the highest quality of care in the nation at some of the lowest costs in the nation.  We should learn from their successes and promote the best practices, not the most expensive ones.  That’s how we’ll achieve reform that fixes what doesn’t work, and builds on what does.

Whoe nellie!  That’s not what you’re saying.  What you are saying is “Lets take this same crappy system and just nationalize it.  Let’s just make everybody buy insurance and then tax the hell out of ’em”.  You never once have mentioned innovation in terms of “medical care” delivery.  Never!

This week, I conveyed to Congress my belief that any health care reform must be built around fundamental reforms that lower costs, improve quality and coverage, and also protect consumer choice.  That means if you like the plan you have, you can keep it.  If you like the doctor you have, you can keep your doctor, too.  The only change you’ll see are falling costs as our reforms take hold.


I also made it very clear to Congress that we must develop a plan that doesn’t add to our budget deficit.

Stop.  Serious.  Who is buying this?

My budget included an historic down payment on reform, and we’ll work with Congress to fully cover the costs through rigorous spending reductions and appropriate additional revenues.  We’ll eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse in our health care system, but we’ll also take on key causes of rising costs – saving billions while providing better care to the American people.

All across America, our families are making hard choices when it comes to health care.  Now, it’s time for Washington to make the right ones.  It’s time to deliver.  And I am absolutely convinced that if we keep working together and living up to our mutual responsibilities; if we place the American people’s interests above the special interests; we will seize this historic opportunity to finally fix what ails our broken health care system, and strengthen our economy and our country now and for decades to come.

Good night.  I am done.

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