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Updated: August 18, 2009 16:39 IST

Obama steps up efforts to win support for healthcare reform

PTI
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U.S. President Barack Obama rolls up his sleeves as he talks about health care during a town hall meeting in Colorado, U.S. on Aug. 15, 2009.
AP U.S. President Barack Obama rolls up his sleeves as he talks about health care during a town hall meeting in Colorado, U.S. on Aug. 15, 2009.

Stepping up his campaign to win over public opinion on his healthcare reform proposal, U.S. President, Barack Obama, today said a national consensus on the matter was possible, even as he faced resistance from opposition Republicans as well as his own party on the controversial issue.

“I am confident that when all is said and done, we can forge the consensus we need to achieve this goal,” Mr. Obama wrote in an op-ed piece in The New York Times.

“We are already closer to achieving health-insurance reform than we have ever been,” he said.

Yesterday Mr. Obama said that his efforts to reform U.S. healthcare system have meaning to him personally. “I just lost my grandmother last year. I know what it’s like to watch somebody you love, who’s ageing, deteriorate and have to struggle with that,” he said.

Terming healthcare reform a “complicated and critical issue” Mr. Obama wrote: “Some people are in favour of reform, and others have concerns. But almost everyone understands that something must be done.” He said the American Nurses Association and the American Medical Association also supported the proposal and there was broad agreement in Congress on about 80 per cent of what they were trying to do.

The U.S. President warned that in the coming weeks, “cynics and the naysayers” will continue to try to undermine his reform proposals. “But for all the scare tactics out there, what’s truly scary — truly risky — is the prospect of doing nothing,” he said, adding: “If we maintain the status quo, we will continue to see 14,000 Americans lose their health insurance every day.” Reforming the health care system was one of his key campaign promises. His goal is to ensure health care for everyone in a country with the world’s costliest system and an estimated 48 million uninsured people. But lawmakers are worried about the cost of such reform.

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