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President Obama is expected to focus on health -- again today during a prime time news conference but it's starting to look like he may have to settle.
For less than full passage of -- bill by August.
-- the battle over Health Care Reform I want to welcome health and human services secretary Kathleen Sebelius secretary thank you for being here appreciate it.
Sure good to be with you I Alexis.
You know it appears is though a little bit of the momentum is starting to slowed down and hit it and it should almost seems as though the president has opened the door to passage of the bill by year and as opposed to having something.
On his desk by the August recess is that a fair assessment.
Well there was never.
And timetable that and people thought -- bill could be at the president's desk by August.
What he's still hoping for is that the house and the senate.
Pass bills through there.
Bodies by the -- recess so then you would have an opportunity for.
The conference committee to get together members of the house members of the senate to talk about the differences and then.
Read discuss the bill in the fall.
I think the great news is elections that there are.
And lots of members of congress have busy at work in house committees and Senate Committees and they.
Not only are tackling this very important issue of health reform to bring down the crushing costs for businesses and government in families.
But also they're looking at the comprehensive reform that will create a new health system.
You know using.
Electronic records to drive great medical care and and stop doctors from being paper pushers and to make sure we focus on wellness and prevention and don't have the best sickness system in the world but the best wellness system in the world -- they're really working hard it make sure we have comprehensive reform this year.
I usually are saying about August and I know that he was looking for mark -- and I understand you're gonna come back to the table in the fall.
But you and I both know senator Max Baucus some other top Democrats have suggested.
That and that things are not moving as quickly as we'd like to we need more time to work through it.
And there's all kinds of debates right now about how we will ultimately fund some of the things that we're talking about whether or not those taxes on benefits will be at.
300 and I believe 80000 -- 500000.
I feel different numbers right now where things stand.
Today right now what do you think the bill will look like when it's complete.
Well I think there's and a lot of common ground in what's emerging.
In recognition that we're spending a lot of money Americans spend two and a half trillion dollars each and every year on health care.
And then a lot of that money.
Is paying for things that don't work very well so but the house and the senate have.
Funded -- the new health care plan with.
The majority of money already in the system money we're spending each and every day for things that don't work.
We also want to get to the point where.
All Americans have access to affordable coverage so either keeping the coverage you have and help.
Lowering the costs for business owners who are currently buying health insurance for their employees or having a new marketplace where there's some choice in competition where.
Individuals there single business owners will be in a larger pool and.
Help spread that risk.
Higher quality we know that.
And those who visited the Mayo Clinic or goal into the guys in your system or in part at Kaiser Permanente in California get.
Great care each and every day at a lower cost than most places in America.
But a lot of folks don't have access to that system don't get high quality lower -- scare and that's part of this.
Overall reform to help.
Factors focus on how to keep people.
Out of the hospital had to keep Americans better at work with hospitals to lower infection rates that now.
Scandal folks way to -- but in the hospital 100000 people Alexis each and every year dive from what happens to them in the hospital and that's.
Way too many lives lost and and way too much money we're spending so -- -- comprehensive reform has to focusing in on all of those areas.
He can and madam secretary I couldn't agree with -- more on all the issues that you're discussing.
The problem -- -- and get the American people started to lose a little bit of their will and they're getting a little frustrated because they feel like.
There is this massive clock hanging over their heads and the clock is ticking.
And while we -- uniformly -- we need to put changing to a fact.
The question is.
Why do we need to do it so urgently if you have to be urgent.
Then why wouldn't the president tell the members of congress don't -- on that August recess let's spend more time at the table.
That's the thing people are concerned about the urgency.
-- -- Are they urgency I think is really brought about by the fact that.
We have bus system that is crushing our economy.
Our personal economies -- family economies -- business academy our government economy.
People a day elections losing their health coverage that's a terrifying place for those families to be.
We have millions of people who can't access the care they need we have actors to spend hours filling out.
Paper forms and not providing great medical care we have people who -- Coming through the doors of emergency rooms to try and get primary care and really blocking that service for.
People who desperately need sickness care in the hospital so we've got a very broken system.
And that's surgeon that's it's something that affects all of us that something that affects all our families I had.
Two sons who recently graduated from palace which is great news but.
-- graduation brought with that a loss of health insurance and families are dealing in struggling with these issues each and every day so.
I think the president is absolutely right we can't fix the economy without fixing health care and he is urged congress to stay at the table and get the job done.
What about the costs this is the number one -- they.
How do you fund this program and the taxing of health care benefits is something.
The president didn't want to see -- many top Democrats believe you've got to do something like that.
The CBO -- secretary they don't madam secretary they don't look good.
-- -- -- Five that.
Well again that in the house and senate plan.
The payment comes from money we're spending already in the system -- in the system each and every day.
We're just spending for things that we -- don't work very well we're overpaying.
For a equipment and prescriptions we are subsidizing.
When they don't deliver the benefits that they've promised where.
Unfortunately have people who are stealing from the system so cracking down on fraud and abuse is part of it and then there Friday of proposals to.
-- pay for the rest of it.
The president has.
Proposal but he's hoping that congress revisits which -- to play.
Cap on itemized deductions for the wealthiest Americans return the itemized deduction.
Tax ability to where was in the Ronald Reagan days and that would affect the top one or 2% of payers.
As you know he hasn't been enthusiastic at all about.
Taxing health benefits of each and every American feeling that that would really dismantle.
The private market that employer based system where a 180 million Americans have coverage that they like that serves them and their -- well.
He doesn't support that -- was talked about a lot in the campaign he's made it clear that if the bill comes to his desk that would.
Taxing all employer benefits he -- that bill but he's interested in cost control in the long term which is again why he would like.
And independent commission to help look at.
Ways that we provide lower cost higher quality care across the board of plan that's been endorsed by the Mayo Clinic and they feel would provide that kind of care that they are delivering across the money.
All right we'll madam secretary I think he's so much -- -- had a very busy morning sir appreciate you joining us this morning to keep it as they haven't.
I am married to visit with you are right --
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