The United States cannot afford to wait when it comes to healthcare reform. That was the message from President Obama as he formally launched the politically perilous process at a special White House health summit. Critics claim his plan to forge a new system this year is too ambitious, with the economic crisis raging. The President disagrees.
“If we want to create jobs and rebuild our economy, and get our federal budget under control, then we must address the crushing cost of healthcare this year, in this administration,” Obama said. “Making investments in reform now, investments that will dramatically lower costs, will not add to our budget deficits in the long term.” Obama says healthcare reform, a key election pledge, is now a fiscal as well as a moral imperative. But shaking up the costly and inefficient system, and helping to make it affordable to all Americans, is something that has thwarted previous presidents.