President Obama gave a landmark, sweeping speech on health care reform to the American Medical Association in Chicago. More so than at any time before, he explained his vision for comprehensive reform that addresses every weak point in our health care system. It is a vision that implements best practices that have allowed some towns and companies to cut costs by as much as half compared to others. It is a vision that makes sure everybody has access to quality, affordable coverage, whether your family hits a rough patch or you have a pre-existing condition. It is a vision in which patients’ and doctors’ interests are aligned. And it is a vision where Americans’ choices of doctors and coverage are maintained, and they also have a choice of a public option that can help keep private insurers honest. It is a vision that focuses on prevention, making sure Americans stay healthy throughout their lives. Hyatt Regency Chicago Chicago, Illinois 11:13 A.M. CDT
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you so much. Good to see you. (Applause.) Thank you so much. Please, everybody be seated. Thank you very much. You’re very kind. (Applause.) Let me begin by thanking Nancy for the wonderful introduction. I want to thank Dr. Joseph Heyman, the chair of the Board of Trustees, as well as Dr. Jeremy Lazarus, speaker of House of Delegates. Thanks to all of you for bringing me home, even if it’s just for a day. (Applause.) From the moment I took office as President, the central challenge we’ve confronted as a nation has been the need to lift ourselves out of the worst recession since World War II. In recent months, we’ve taken a series of extraordinary steps, not just to repair the immediate damage to our economy, but to build a new foundation for lasting and sustained growth. We’re here to create new jobs, to unfreeze our credit markets. We’re stemming the loss of homes and the decline of home values.