Obama: Health Care Reform will Save Money

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WASHINGTON -- Continuing to promote his plan for the nation's health care system, Wednesday, President Barack Obama urged significant reform in medical insurance coverage in order to save Americans money.

"Deferring reform is nothing more than defending the status quo," he said.  "And those who would oppose our efforts should take a hard look at just what it is they're defending."

Speaking in the Rose Garden at the White House, Obama painted a dreary picture of soaring premiums, deductibles and other costs without reform.

With his health care revamp, however, he vowed, "You'll save money."

"If you lose your job, change your job, or start a new business, you'll still be able to find quality health insurance you can afford," Obama said.

Plan Introduced in the House

House Democrats released their version of the health care plan Tuesday.  The reform is designed to provide Americans with health insurance and better access to health care.

Click play for more on the Democrats' proposed health care plan, with Phil Kerpen of Americans for Prosperity.

"Never again will you go without health insurance," said Rep. George Miller, D-Calif. "You will have the peace of mind of knowing that you will never lose coverage. If you loose your job, switch jobs or start a business you will keep your coverage."
    
The 1,000-page plan penalizes employers who fail to provide health insurance for their workers and people who refuse to buy it.  It also authorizes the government to sell insurance, a feature that is controversial, even among some Democrats.

Democratic leaders said the plan will not add to the deficit, which is now at $1 trillion. Still, not everyone agrees.

Cost Concerns

"I think it will actually be a lot more than that," said Phil Kerpen, policy director for Americans for Prosperity. "Because if you look historically, every healthcare bill ends up costing a lot more than we were originally told. Medicare has cost nearly seven to eight times more than it was supposed to cost."

Under the House Democrats' plan, Americans who make $1 million or more will be charged a federal surtax. The plan also relies on deep cuts to Medicare and Medicaid spending.
    
"This nation has a proud history of protecting our elders, our newborns, our sick and those who are the weakest," said Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich.
    
Pro-Life Lawmakers Oppose

What it does not do though, according to pro-life lawmakers, is protect the unborn.

"Today those in charge in Washington have demonstrated a grave lack of respect for the unborn," said Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga. "Abortion except in rare circumstances is not health care."

The legislation does not address whether abortions will be covered -- something these lawmakers consider a dangerous omission.

"History has shown that when abortion is not excluded, it is included," Price added.
    
Some fear private insurers will be forced to cover abortions and doctors will be forced to perform them.
    
Democrats said they are open to changing the bill and Republicans have already drafted amendments.

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Jennifer Wishon

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Jennifer Wishon is the White House correspondent for CBN News based in the network’s Washington, D.C. Bureau.  Before taking over the White House beat, Jennifer covered Capitol Hill and other national news, from the economy to the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Follow Jennifer on Twitter @JenniferWishon and "like" her at Facebook.com/JennWishon.