Obama Says that the Only Way to Pass Universal Health Care is By Bringing Republicans and Democrats Together
At a roundtable discussion on health care in Des Moines today, U.S. Senator Barack Obama said that the only way to create a universal health care system in America is by electing a President who can bring Democrats and Republicans together to create an open, transparent reform process that can overcome the special interest groups standing in the way.
"There's been a lot of talk about the different plans the candidates have proposed to create a universal health care system in this country," Obama said. "But the reason Americans don't have health insurance isn't because they don't want it, it's because they can't afford it, which is why my plan doesn't have a mandate and goes further in cutting costs than any other proposal offered in this race. But what's most important is that we elect a President with the proven ability to bring Democrats and Republicans together to get results so we can stand up to the special interests. That's what I did in Illinois, and that's what I'll do as President."
Obama said he has a record of bringing Republicans and Democrats together in the Illinois state senate, where he expanded health care coverage to an additional 150,000 children and parents.
"An important part of this effort will be creating an open, transparent process so that the American people feel informed about and invested in what we're trying to do," Obama said. "That's why I've made having conversations like this one on the campaign trail a priority, because when the American people are paying attention and are brought into the process, there's nothing we can't achieve."
Joining Obama at the discussion were the following people:
Lorna Hines, age 57, is the director of three clinics for Primary Health Care, Inc. in Des Moines.
Julie Cahill, age 42, works in the Johnston Public School system and as the after school program director at Sayre Montessori School in West Des Moines.
Summer Jordan, age 29, a native of Knoxville, is a full time student at AIB College of Business in Des Moines.
Dr. Jennifer Groos, age 33, a native of Webster City, is a graduate of the University of Iowa College of Medicine and works as a pediatrician at Blank Children's Hospital.
Leslie and Janice Nichols, age 34 and 42, Leslie works as a welder and Janice a hairdresser.