Obama: Health Care a 'Time-Bomb'

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 15, 2009 11:57 AM CDT

(Newser) – The current health care system is a “ticking time-bomb” for the federal budget, Barack Obama told the American Medical Association today, speaking before a crowd of doctors in Chicago. He sharply criticized the current system, which pays doctors for each test or treatment provided, saying it “has taken the pursuit of medicine from a profession—a calling—to a business.”

“You did not enter this profession to be bean-counters,” he told the gathered doctors. “You entered this profession to be healers.” He called for measures to make medical education cheaper, a public insurance option, and more funding for medical research, though he promised the government wouldn’t dictate best practices. He also laid to rest another potential fear: “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. Period.” he declared.

President Barack Obama waves as he prepares to board Air Force One at Andrews Air Force in Maryland, Monday, June 15, 2009.
President Barack Obama waves as he prepares to board Air Force One at Andrews Air Force in Maryland, Monday, June 15, 2009.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
President Barack Obama delivers remarks in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Friday, June 12, 2009, about passage of the tobacco legislation.
President Barack Obama delivers remarks in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Friday, June 12, 2009, about passage of the tobacco legislation.   (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)
President Barack Obama waves as he leaves the White House, Monday, June 15, 2009.
President Barack Obama waves as he leaves the White House, Monday, June 15, 2009.   (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)
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No matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise: If you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. Period. No one will take it away. No matter what. - Barack Obama

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