Obama Touts Benefits of Health Reform for Small Businesses, Job Growth
During a Thursday speech in Portland, Maine, President Obama said the new health care law will create jobs and benefit the economy, the Washington Post reports.
Obama specifically focused on the benefits the new law would have for small-business owners and middle-class families.
However, the president acknowledged that more work still must be done to fix the U.S. health care system. He said, "What this reform represents is basically a middle-of-the-road solution to a very serious problem." He added although the new law "represents enormous progress," lawmakers will "have to make some adjustments along the way."
On Thursday, Republicans disputed Obama's claims that the overhaul will help small businesses, saying that businesses will experience higher insurance costs under the new law.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said, "The timing couldn't be worse for a bill that will make it even harder to create private-sector jobs, and harder for small businesses to comply with the dozens of new federal boards and a thicket of new rules and regulations" (Wilson, Washington Post, 4/1).
Obama Dismisses Poll Results, Quick Suppositions by Media
During the speech, Obama dismissed recent polls that found many U.S. residents oppose reform efforts (Baker, New York Times, 4/1). He said, "Before we find out if people like health care reform, we should wait to see what happens when we actually put it into place."
Obama also criticized members of the media, who he said are too eager to sum up public opinion on the overhaul. He said, "Can you imagine if some of these reporters were working on a farm, had planted some seeds and came out the next day and looked, 'Nothing's happened! There's no crop! We're going to starve! Oh no! It's a disaster!'" (Meckler, "Washington Wire," Wall Street Journal, 4/1).
President Reiterates Call for GOP To Attempt To Repeal Reform
Obama also repeated his call for Republicans to "go for it" in regard to repealing the reform package (Washington Post, 4/1).
He said that if Republicans "want to have that fight, I welcome that fight because I don't believe the American people are going to put the insurance industry back in the driver's seat" (New York Times, 4/1).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.