Thursday, October 22, 2009

A Letter From President Obama on Healthcare

Dear Friend:

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. I have heard
from countless Americans struggling to afford health insurance and health professionals striving to provide care. I appreciate your perspective.

There is broad consensus among the American people on
the need for affordable, high-quality health care. The rising cost of
health care is the most pressing financial challenge for families and
for our Nation, and controlling this cost is essential to bringing
down the Federal deficits we inherited. We must also end unfair
insurance practices that leave millions of Americans without
coverage, deny them access to coverage, and expose them to
extraordinary burdens. And we should ensure that small
businesses have access to affordable, high-quality health plans for
their employees so that we can make our economy - and our small
businesses - more competitive. Now is the time to move forward,
and I am working to get health insurance reform done this year.

Since I took office, we have done more to improve health
care than we have in the previous decade. In February, I signed
H.R. 2 to provide coverage for millions of children through the
Children's Health Insurance Program, and I signed the American
Recovery and Reinvestment Act to make key investments in
computerized medical records and preventive services.

Still, more must be done to lower costs, expand coverage,
and improve the quality of health care. Health insurance reform
must provide more security and stability to those who have health
insurance; make sure those who do not have insurance can find
affordable options; and lower the cost of health care for our
families, our businesses, and our government. Reform will benefit
seniors by protecting and strengthening Medicare, closing the
"donut-hole" gap in coverage for prescription drugs, and providing
free preventive care. To help fulfill the debt we owe to our service
men and women, I am committed to ensuring that we provide the
highest-quality health care possible to America's veterans. My
2010 budget requests the largest single-year increase in funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs in three decades and significantly expands health care coverage to an additional 500,000 veterans by 2013.

Ultimately, there are tough choices to be made, and I am
working to bring employers and workers, health care providers and
patients together to create a system that delivers high-quality
health care and puts the Nation on a sustainable, long-term fiscal
path. To learn more about my Health Insurance Reform Plan or to
share a personal story, please join me online at: For further information on health care
and assistance that may be available to you, you may call 1-800-
FED-INFO or visit:

[edited for direct personal context]


Barack Obama