Healthcare Town Hall - Page 9 of 18

Healthcare Town Hall

You are somebody who I think could be directly impacted and directly helped if Congress gets this thing done and gets it on my desk, I hope, by sometime in October of this year. (Applause.)

Okay, it’s a guy’s turn. It’s a guy’s turn. This gentleman in the suit.

Q Welcome to Green Bay, Mr. President. It’s an honor to have you here.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, sir.

Q My name is John Corpus (phonetic). I am fortunate enough to be here with my 10-year-old daughter who is missing her last day of school for this. I hope she doesn’t get in trouble.

THE PRESIDENT: Oh, no. (Laughter.) Do you need me to write a note?

Q I’ll take you up on that actually, Mr. President. (Laughter and applause.)

THE PRESIDENT: All right, go ahead. I’ll start writing it now. What’s her name?

Q John Corpus.

THE PRESIDENT: No, her. (Laughter.)

Q Well, considering I have some people here from work that are very interested in —

THE PRESIDENT: No, no, I’m serious. What’s your daughter’s name?

Q Her name is Kennedy.

THE PRESIDENT: Kennedy. All right, that’s a cool name. (Laughter.)

Q That’s a very cool name, thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: All right, I’m going to write to Kennedy’s teacher. (Laughter.) Okay, go ahead, I’m listening to your question.

Q Thank you, sir. I work in the health system and we work with employers; we work with payers, brokers, everybody to try to lower costs for employers. We have retail health clinics, walk-in clinics, regular primary clinics and emergency departments. And everybody is trying to do something now, but all I’m hearing is about what’s going to happen long term.

And my question is: What is a time line that we have set up for this? What do you see happening, especially in the area of working with employers to either offer more insurance, or, for the uninsured, being able to get them something now?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, look, we’re not going to be able — whatever reforms we set up, it will probably take a couple of years to get it in place. Here you go, Kennedy. There you go. (Laughter and applause.)

So whatever reforms we pass, it’s going to take a couple of years to get all the reforms and all the systems in place. There are some things that I think we should be able to do fairly quickly. For example, the pre-existing condition issue, some of the insurance reform issues I think we should be able to get in place more rapidly.

The thing that I think we’re going to have to spend the most time thinking about and really get right — and you probably know more about this than I do, because you’re working with a lot of these employers and insurers and so forth — is how do we change the medical delivery systems that can either drive costs way up and decrease quality or drive cost down and improve quality?