Obama: Health Care a 'Time-Bomb'

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 15, 2009 11:57 AM CDT
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)
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(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. (Read more Barack Obama stories.)