Obama on Health Care Reform ‘Yes, We Can’

By Staff Report

Jun. 23, 2009

While the pace of developing health care reform legislation has slowed in Congress, President Barack Obama said Monday, June 22, that predictions that the drive is faltering simply aren’t true.

To those in Washington who say that “the sky is falling” on health care reform legislation, “I have to repeat, revive an old saying we had from the campaign: Yes, we can. We are going to get this done,” Obama said.

The president delivered his remarks at a White House event at which he announced an “understanding” in which the pharmaceutical industry would, assuming health reform legislation passes, reduce prices on brand-name drugs for low- and middle-income retirees receiving drug coverage through Medicare Part D.

The discount would apply to costs that fall within the so-called “doughnut hole”—a gap in coverage that kicks in for costs between $2,700 and $6,100.

Progress in developing health care reform legislation is moving slower than congressional leaders predicted earlier.

For example, Sen. Max Baucus, D-Montana, who chairs the Senate Finance Committee, said on several occasions that his panel would produce a bill by mid-June, with the full Senate completing action by the end of June.

The Finance Committee, however, has yet to unveil a bill. In the House, only a draft discussion measure has been developed and no committee votes have been scheduled so far on the proposal.

Filed by Jerry Geisel of Business Insurance, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, e-mail

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