Obama Says The Time To Fix Health Care Is Now

President Obama told a crowd today at a high school in Green Bay, Wis., that health reform will cost "a good deal of money at a time where we don't have extra to spend," according to The Associated Press.

Obama spoke about reform before taking questions from the town hall audience there. Obama said "he will identify about $300 billion in budget savings 'in the days to come' on top of an already outlined $300 billion. However, Obama also said that that won't be enough. He proposes the extra money come in part from reducing charitable deductions for the wealthiest Americans — an idea that has little backing on Capitol Hill" (Elliot, 6/11).

The Los Angeles Times reports that Obama told the crowd that "he would not tolerate a slowdown in his drive to improve the way Americans get their medical care."

"'If the private insurance companies have to compete with a public option, it will keep them honest and help keep prices down,' Obama said. And he kept up his criticism of inefficiencies in the system that many experts believe are pushing the nation's annual healthcare tab past $2.2 trillion. 'We should change the warped incentives that reward doctors and hospitals based on how many tests or procedures they prescribe, even if those tests or procedures aren't necessary or result from medical mistakes,' he said."

"Outside the school, Obama faced a rare protest: Several hundred people lined the street, many carrying bright red signs with white letters said 'No health care,' and 'No socialism' and 'Taxed enough yet?'"" (Levey, 6/11).

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