In all these reforms, our goal is simple: the highest-quality health care at the lowest-possible cost. Let me repeat what I said before: We want to fix what’s broken, build on what works. As Congress moves forward on health care legislation in the coming weeks there are going to be different ideas and disagreements about how to achieve this goal. And I welcome all ideas; we’ve got to have a good debate. What I will not welcome, what I will not accept is endless delay or a denial that reform needs to happen. (Applause.)
Because when it comes to health care, this country can’t continue on its current path. I know there are some who will say that it’s too expensive. I know some people say it’s too complicated. But I can assure you: The cost of doing nothing is going to be a lot higher in the years to come. Our deficits will be higher. Our premiums will keep going up. Our wages will be lower. Our jobs will be fewer. Our businesses will suffer.
So to those who criticize our efforts, I ask them, “What’s the alternative?” What else do we say to all the families who spend more on health care than on housing or on food? What do we tell those businesses that are choosing between closing their doors and letting their workers go? What do we say to Americans like Laura, a woman who has worked all her life; whose husband has worked; whose family has done everything right; a brave and proud woman whose child’s school recently took up a penny drive to help pay her medical bills? What do we tell them? (Applause.)
Here’s what I’m going to tell them: that after decades of inaction, we have finally decided to fix what’s broken about health care in America. (Applause.) We have finally decided it’s time to give every American quality health care at an affordable cost. (Applause.) We have decided to invest in reforms that will bring costs down now. (Applause.) We’ve decided to bring costs down now and in the future. And we’ve decided to change the system so that our doctors and health care providers are free to do what they trained and studied and worked so hard to do: to make people well again. That’s what we can do in this country right now, at this moment.
So I don’t want to accept “no” for an answer. We need to get this down, but I’m going to need your help. That’s why I want your thoughts, your questions on this and any other issues.
Thank you very much, Green Bay. God bless you. Thank you. (Applause.)