Obama Makes Surprising Admission It has been called the defining issue of his presidency -- but Obama recently admitted he may rethink his health care overhaul.
Obama Says He Could Be Forced To Revisit Health Care Should Supreme Court Rule Against Signature Law
If the Supreme Court rules against President Barack Obama's signature health care reform law in a decision expected at the end of the month, it could mean back to the drawing board for the White House.
Bloomberg News reports that the president told donors that his administration may have no choice, but to revisit the issue in his second term. Obama reportedly made the suggestion at a closed-door New York City fundraiser earlier this month.
Last month, in addressing the Supreme Court hearing on the Affordable Care Act, Obama signaled optimism that the case would produce a ruling in his favor.
"This is not an abstract argument," he said. "People's lives are affected by the lack of availability of health care, the in-affordability of health care, their inability to get health care because of pre-existing conditions."
The president added, "Ultimately I am confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress."
Here's a clip of what Obama had to say at the time:
One of the more positive sounding admonitions from health care reform opponents was that the United States had "the best health care in the world," so why would you mess with it? Well, it's true that if you want the experience the pinnacle of medical care, you come to the United States. And if you want the pinnacle of haute cuisine, you go to Per Se. If you want the pinnacle of commercial air travel, you get a first class seat on British Airways. Now, naturally, you wouldn't let just anyone mess with someone's tasting menu or state-of-the-art air-beds. But like anything that's "the best," the best health care in the world isn't for everybody. The costs are prohibitively high, the access is prohibitively exclusive, and the resources are prohibitively scarce.
What do the people in America who "fly coach" in the health care system get? Well, at the time of the health care reform debate, they were participating in a system that was, by all objective measurements, overpriced and underperforming -- if you were lucky enough to be participating in it. As anyone who's fortunate enough to have employer based health care or unfortunate enough to have a pre-existing condition can tell you, health care for ordinary people already involved all of those things that we were told would be a feature of the Affordable Care Act -- long waits, limited choice, and rationing.
When the Commonwealth Fund rated health care systems by nation, the top marks in the surveyed categories went to the United Kingdom, New Zealand and the Netherlands. Ezra Klein examined the study, and observed:
"The issue isn't just that we don't have universal health care. Our delivery system underperforms, too. 'Even when access and equity measures are not considered, the U.S. ranks behind most of the other countries on most measures. With the inclusion of primary care physician survey data in the analysis, it is apparent that the U.S. is lagging in adoption of national policies that promote primary care, quality improvement, and information technology.'"
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