National Consumers League

The Great Unfinished Business of our Society


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Last night, the President addressed Congress and the American people to discuss the issue of health reform, address the misinformation that has circulated this summer, and remind us what this fight is all about … the people. As the President spoke last night, he walked us through the “history of our progress,” which includes battles to enact Social Security and Medicare.  President Obama reminded us that the “concern and regard for the plight of others … is part of the American character.”  Quoting from a letter from the late Senator Kennedy, President Obama said that health reform is the “great unfinished business of our society,” which “concerns more than material things." According to the President, the consequences of doing nothing will include a growing deficit, a rise in bankruptcy and an increase in the loss of coverage among American families, more Americans will see their health deteriorate, and many businesses will be forced to close. The President called for a health reform plan that:

  • gives coverage to those who do not have it
  • gives Americans the benefits they are promised
  • promotes choice and competition
  • holds insurance companies accountable
  • improves efficiency and quality
  • prohibits discrimination
  • prohibits caps on benefits
  • limits the amount of out-of-pockets expenses American families face
  • requires preventive services be provided at no extra cost
The President also said, “if you misrepresent what’s in this plan, we will call you out.”  This is great news for the American people, who will benefit from a truthful and meaningful debate. As the President said, again quoting from the late Senator Kennedy, “at stake are not just the details of policy, but fundamental principles of social justice and the character of our country.”   We are hopeful that we can keep this debate centered on you, the American people.