President Barack Obama reaffirmed his intent to pass health care reform in his State of the Union address last night.

Opening his remarks by acknowledging historic America struggles, Obama urged legislators to "get it done," and press on with health care reform.

"Here's what I ask Congress, though: Don't walk away from reform,” he said. “Not now. Not when we are so close. Let us find a way to come together and finish the job for the American people." 

Elsewhere in the speech, Obama criticized insurance company practices.

"I took on health care because of the stories I've heard from Americans with preexisting conditions whose lives depend on getting coverage; patients who've been denied coverage; families—even those with insurance—who are just one illness away from financial ruin," Obama said. "The approach we've taken would protect every American from the worst practices of the insurance industry. It would give small businesses and uninsured Americans a chance to choose an affordable health care plan in a competitive market. It would require every insurance plan to cover preventive care."

In the Republican response to the speech, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell criticized Obama's approach to health care reform. “All Americans agree, we need a health care system that is affordable, accessible and high-quality," McDonnell said. "But most Americans do not want to turn over the best medical care system in the world to the federal government. Republicans in Congress have offered legislation to reform health care without shifting Medicaid costs to the states, without cutting Medicare, and without raising your taxes. We will do that by implementing common-sense reforms, like letting families and businesses buy health insurance policies across state lines, and ending frivolous lawsuits against doctors and hospitals that drive up the cost of your health care."

Register or login for access to this item and much more

All Digital Insurance content is archived after seven days.

Community members receive:
  • All recent and archived articles
  • Conference offers and updates
  • A full menu of enewsletter options
  • Web seminars, white papers, ebooks

Don't have an account? Register for Free Unlimited Access