Obama Fields Questions Aboard Air Force One

Published by Tanu Henry on Thursday, July 16, 2009 at 5:16 pm.


(NEW YORK) July 16, 2009 - Will African Americans find themselves in worse shape following health care reform?  That’s what I asked President Barack Obama during a reporters’ roundtable on Air Force One this afternoon.

I asked because the “single-payer” option isn’t on the table during the reform negotiations now underway in Congress. 

“We have a tradition of employer-based health care plans – we hope to provide a level of subsidy guaranteed to keep costs down,” he told me.  Keeping down cost will be a challange because without a single-payer option, like the federal progam Medicare, those seeking insurance will have to buy what they can afford.  Medicare insures everyone and covers up to 80 percent of the cost for at a very affordable rate for seniors and the disable.   

Obama defended the bill in its early stages in Congress, saying he wants to see a government option offered  ”side-by-side” the private insurers.  The government option would be “looking over the shoulder” of private insurers to make sure they do the right thing, he said.   

The trip on Air Force One was less than an hour, the interview with the president about 20 minutes.  I was joined by my colleagues from Ebony, Urban Radio Network, Black Enterprise, The Amsterdam News, TV One and Essence Magazine.

We were seated in the guest area of the plane rather than the traditional press area, and were able to pepper the flight crew with off-the-record questions about  The White House with wings.

After landing in New York we all made our way to the NAACP convention hotel to cover the presidents speech.

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rednblack said on July 16th, 2009

Pam I am glad you got to ask a question but you should have asked is ” Universal Health Care has been a failure in every country it has been implemented in; Why do you believe it will work here?”

Katie said on July 16th, 2009

i agree. pam you shuld have asked that question instead.

kofi said on July 16th, 2009

i don’t think you can make that generalization that universal health has been a failure wherever it has been implemented. Check Canada, Sweden and England they have free health care i don’t think it has been a failure. personally as a Canadian i think the US has a lot to learn when it come to caring for their citizens health. i am not saying is the best but is way better the what you guys have now.

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jfffnn said on July 17th, 2009

Your assetion that univesal healthcare is a failure is totaly false,sounds like something straight out of the republican party or FOX.It works in most nations and it really works in Cuba.It seems all you so-called “pro-life” folk don’t want to help the living.

rednblack said on July 17th, 2009

You lost all credibility when you cited Cuba as an example of success. I dont know wether to laugh or cry at your stupidity. As a Physician I can tell you straight up that every part of Health Care currently managed by the Government has been sub par and poor. When the Government fully takes over Health Care under the plan currently proposed by Congress and Obama, our Health Care will be rationed, costs will go up and our choices severly limited.
@Kofi, you are of the 2% that believe Canada’s system has been good. More than likely you are young and very healthy, please get back with me when you have aged some and when you run into some serious health issues.

jfffnn said on July 20th, 2009

In as far as Cuba is concerned I was refering to the healthcare which in known to be quite good.I was not refering to the politcs of Cuba which I know,you being conservative despise.Would you prefer a heathcare system under Fulgencio Batista ?

rednblack said on July 20th, 2009

Quality Health Care in Cuba is a myth!!! I have spoken to numerous Physicians who escaped the Health Care cesspool in Cuba. Across the board they all reported the same; Very Low Wages, non-sterile conditions, deteriorating and obsolete equipment, abysmal working conditions, lack of any modern tools such as MRI’s, severe shortage of supplies…..
Why do you think Castro goes to Spain for treatments and not Cuba!

jfffnn said on July 20th, 2009

I just knew you would have that response but I have read and viewed a number of articles and programs that say they have a very good heatlhcare program. As far as I know Castro had his last sugery in Cuba,unless you believe in the proppaghanda spewed by the “wrongwingers”.
Never mind all that,aside from tax cuts what is the GOP’s plan for heatlhcare ? The problem with the tax cut is if you don’t have the money to pay the bill in the first place how do you get a tax break ? everybody knows that even insurance companies refuse to pay for some treatments so don’t try that RATIONS stuff. Why is it the party of life don’t want quality of life for people that can’t afford health insurance ?

rednblack said on July 20th, 2009

I am happy you have read a few articles on Health Care. However, I live and breath Health Care 365 days a year and I can tell you straight up; Cubas Health Care System is POOR and Government Run Health Care will not be good for you, my practice and most importantly for my patients.
God help us all if this monstrosity passes

jfffnn said on July 20th, 2009

I think some sort of healthcare for people that can’t afford the premiums on private health insurance will pass. You still have not suggested any plan for those people just like the republicans

rednblack said on July 20th, 2009

Here are some broad prospectives that if applied would reduce costs and enhance medical care in America:
1. Provide incentives and lower rates for healthy living
2. Tort reform is a must.
3. Emphasize preventive care
4. Individual Choice
Ownership of ones Health is the necessary cornerstone to a successful Health Plan

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