Saturday, October 17, 2009

Obama praises Senate committee's health care vote

President Barack Obama pushed back against critics of his health care plan on Saturday with a stern warning that absent reform, costs will continue to rise and eventually devastate the U.S. economy.
The administration is trying to build momentum for the effort following a 14-9 vote this week by the Senate Finance Committee for legislation that would extend health care to millions of people.
Democrats hailed the vote as a victory, in part because the bill was supported by a Republican, Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe. But the legislation faces considerable opposition with the health insurance industrylabor unions and large business organizations lining up against it.
"The history is clear: For decades rising health care costs have unleashed havoc on families, businesses and the economy," the president said Saturday in his weekly radio and Internet address. "And for decades, whenever we have tried to reform the system, theinsurance companies have done everything in their considerable power to stop us."
Earlier this week, the health insurance industry released a study concluding that the Finance Committee bill — one of five competing House and Senate health care measures — would raise premiums significantly for millions of people who already have health coverage. The report drew intense criticism from the White House, Democrats in Congress and other advocates of the bill.

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