Obama talks health care and Lubbockites react - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

9/9/09

Obama talks health care and Lubbockites react

By Ann Wyatt Little  - bio | email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - It's been called a "make or break" speech for President Obama's health care reform plans. Wednesday night, he took his cause directly to Congress and the American people at the same time. Before a joint session of congressional leaders, the President made a live televised address.  President Obama told America "this is not a problem for people on welfare, but rather it's a problem for hard working middle class Americans." He also said insurance companies are not paying legitimate claims for those who pay premiums and said that healthcare spending is so big that it costs more than all other government programs. "We are the only Democracy, the only advanced Democracy on earth, the only wealthy nation that allows such hardship for its people," says President Obama.

The President's plan includes a requirement that insurance companies not drop people's coverage or weaken it when they get sick. It also requires health insurance for every person just like all drivers are required to have automobile insurance, and he says there would be both public and private options.

Six Lubbock residents watched the health care speech at NewsChannel 11 and after the nearly 45 minute address we asked the group for their reaction. Robby Cash and his stay at home wife Kasey say President Obama answered some of the questions they had. "It pretty much debunked everything that we had heard and that had made us scared of the reform," says Kasey Cash. The couple has three sons, and says their insurance doubled last year. "Just when he was talking about when you can't afford insurance there are other options. Not to force you or keep you from seeing who you want to see."

Teacher Alma Cunningtubby says her insurance costs are of concern. "If I had choices, if there is a better coverage at a less cost for me then who are you going to want to choose? Those companies are going to have to start at the cut throat competition," says Cunningtubby.

Another concern for some of the group, pre-existing conditions."Under this plan it will be against the law for insurances companies to deny you coverage because of a pre-existing condition," says President Obama to the American people.

Kae and David Henges say their son is a cancer survivor. "He's surviving so if he leaves his job he can't get insurance because of a pre-existing condition. He's locked into a job, how American is that?" says Henges.

But Todd Overhosler says specifics are still missing. "Unfortunately it's what I expected from the president. He speaks in terms of generalities and he does not give specifics," adds Overhosler. The Henges say while reform is needed, there shouldn't be a rush. "There are still concerns and it looks like it's going to be a long haul. There are so many problems to be resolved and it can't be done quickly," says David Henges.

Congressman Randy Neugebauer has already made some public objections to Obama's healthcare plan. "Over the course of my travels in the 19th congressional district, it has become clear to me that the American people do not want a government take-over of our health care system," says Neugebauer in a written statement. Neugebauer says he would support some sort of bi-partisan effort to make reforms.

©2009 KCBD NewsChannel 11. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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