President Barack Obama is continuing his campaign to reform the American health
care system. He is urging the nation's doctors to put aside their skepticism and
back changes that he says are needed to bring skyrocketing medical costs under
President Obama went before the nation's largest organization of
physicians to make the case for health care reform.
"The cost of our
health care is a threat to our economy," he said. "It is an escalating burden on
our families and businesses. It is a ticking time bomb for the federal
In a speech to members of the American Medical Association at
their annual meeting in Chicago, the president spoke in stark terms.
talked about big corporations like General Motors that are in trouble in part
because of the high cost of providing health insurance to employees.
we do not fix our health care system, America may go the way of GM - paying
more, getting less and going broke," said Mr. Obama.
The president faced
a tough audience. There is consensus in the medical community about the need for
reform to improve the affordability and accessibility of quality care. But there
is no unity on the best medicine to heal the ailing system.
went out of his way to assure them that he does not support a government
take-over. But he said there needs to be a way to provide health insurance to
those of modest means. And he took on a major concern for doctors: the fear of a
President Obama said he does not favor limits on the
amount of money juries can award in malpractice lawsuits. But he said he is open
to other options, and he pledged to work with the medical community.
need your help, doctors, because to most Americans, you are the health care
system," he said.
Republican leaders in the U.S. Congress responded to
the president's remarks by charging once again that he wants a health care
system run by bureaucrats in Washington.