Obama on the Record: Healthcare Reform Town Hall

There are those now who are seeing our failure to address stubborn problems as a sign that our best days are behind us; that somehow we’ve lost our sense of purpose, and toughness, and capacity to lead; that we can’t do big things anymore. Well, I believe that this generation, like generations past, stand ready to defy the skeptics and the naysayers, that we can once again summon this American spirit. We can rescue our economy. We can rebuild it stronger than before. We can achieve quality, affordable health care for every single American. That’s what we’re called upon to do. That’s what we will do with your help, Ohio. (Applause.) With your help. (Applause.)

All right, thank you.

All right. All right, this is the fun part where we get to ask questions. I’m going to — I’m going to take off my jacket, guys, so if you want to do the same thing — it’s a little hot. (Applause.) All right. Now, here’s how this is going to work. There are really no rules. We haven’t asked — you know, there’s no preprogrammed questions. All you have to do is — first of all, everybody should sit down. (Laughter.)

The second thing is, I’m just going to call on as many people as we can during the time that we have, and I’m going to — just to make sure it’s fair, I’m going to call on girl, boy, girl, boy. (Laughter.)

So just raise your hand if you’ve got a question. Try to keep the question relatively brief; I’ll try to keep my answer relatively brief, and we’ll try to get through as many as we can. And introduce yourself, if you don’t mind. There are people in the audience with mics and so if you can wait for the microphone so you can introduce yourself and then ask the question so that everybody can hear you. Okay?

All right. This young lady right there in the colorful blouse right there — that’s you. Colorful dress.

Q Hello?

THE PRESIDENT: Hello.

Q Good afternoon, Mr. President. Thank you for taking my question. My name is Norma Goodman. My question regarding health care is twofold. It appears that your plan has the health care industry funding your health care reform, and I think you just alluded to that a little. It poses a concern for me — I’m the owner of a Medicare-certified home care agency. And by the way, my agency wanted to invite you to come on a home visit with us. (Laughter.)

But your proposed budget includes drastic cuts to reimbursement. I feel that that threatens the — you’re shaking your head no?

THE PRESIDENT: I don’t think so. I should point out, if I’m not mistaken, that the home care industry has actually endorsed this reform effort and are moving forward, but go ahead and finish your question.

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