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Live blogging president's health care reform speech

9:12 To sum up, the president said a lot of what he's already said. It will be interesting to see if it has an impact. I suspect it won't have much effect swaying people either way on either side of the debate. So where does that leave us? Expect more bickering and the likelihood of a partisan reform package that will leave a whole lot of room for improvement and criticism regardless of what it actually achieves. Good night! ----- 9:11 "Working together in a bipartisan way, we can truly lower the cost of health care while improving quality for the American people." ----- 9:10 Where we don't agree: Glad president mentioned malpractice reform. Let families buy insurance across state lines. ----- 9:09 Four points we agree on: -All individuals should have access to health coverage -Individuals and small businesses and other groups should be able to join together to get coverage at lower cost -We can provide assistance to those who still cannot access a doctor -Insurers should cover preventative care 9:08 "I read the bill Democrats passed through committee in July... creates 53 new bureaucracies... cuts Medicare..." ----- 9:06 Rep. Charles Boustany of Louisiana, a heart surgeon, gives Republican response. ----- 9:05 Stephanopoulos makes same note I did: Didn't move Republicans. Not sure if he united Democrats enough. ----- 9:03 All done. 46 minutes by my count. Certainly far fewer standing ovations than a State of the Union. Shows it was more substance, even if it was a repeat of what he's been saying for months, that the sizzle-based State of the Union speeches. ----- 9:02 "We did not come here to fear the future. We came here to shape it." ----- 9:01 "The dangers of too much government are matched by the perils of too little." ----- 8:58 Trying to pull in Kennedy's Republican friends (Hatch, McCain, Grassley) ----- 8:57 It took 40 minutes, but we've reached the Teddy Kennedy tribute. I am truly surprised it took so long. ----- 8:55 "I will not accept the status quo as a solution. Not this time. Not now." ----- 8:54 Plan will cost $900 billion over ten years. Less than Iraq and Afghanistan and less than tax cuts for wealthy. Most costs will be paid for with money already being spent, but spent badly in current health care system. He talked about this in Raleigh. Could reduce deficit by $4 trillion in long term. ----- 8:52 Biggest GOP ovation comes for malpractice reform. ----- 8:49 Ensure seniors will get benefits they've been promised, Medicare will be there for future generations. ----- 8:48 Republicans look unmoved. Democrats don't necessarily seem more excited than before. The goal of speech was supposed to rally Democratic support if nothing else. ----- 8:47 Too many initiatives in last decade not paid for. "I won't make that same mistake with health care." ----- 8:44 Spoke to "my progressive friends" and then "my Republican friends." Read between the lines on his meaning. ----- 8:43 Compares public option to the complimentary role of public and private colleges. Interesting metaphor. ----- 8:41 "I don't want to put insurance companies out of business... I just want to hold them accountable." Make not-for-profit public option available in the insurance exchange... only an option for those without insurance... would not impact those of you who already have insurance... Congressional Budget Office estimates less than 5% of Americans would sign up... taxpayers won't subsidize public option. Must be self-sustaining. ----- 8:38 Someone on the right yelled "Lie!" when he said won't cover illegal immigrants. Pelosi's look of shock was priceless. ----- 8:37 President takes shot at Palin on "death panels." ----- 8:36 First laugh line: "While there remain a few details to be ironed out..." ----- 8:35 Individuals will be required to carry basic health insurance like most states require you to carry auto insurance. ----- 8:34 Offer low-cost coverage immediately for those without coverage. "This was a good idea when Sen. John McCain presented it in the campaign... we should all embrace it." ----- 8:33 Time to give every American same opportunity for coverage government leaders get. Tax credits to help pay for coverage. ----- 8:31 "Nothing in our plan requires you to change what you have. What this plan will do will make the insurance you have work better for you. -Illegal for insurer to deny coverage for preexisting condition -Illegal for insurer to drop coverage when you get sick or water it down when you need it most -No arbitrary yearly or lifetime caps -Place limits on out-of-pocket expenses -Required to cover routine check-ups and screenings Same stuff president talked about during visit to Raleigh this summer. ----- 8:28 "The time for bickering is over. The time for games has passed... Now is the time to deliver on health care." Plan has three basic goals: -More security and stability to those who have health insurance -Provide health insurance for those who don't -Slow growth of health care costs for families, business and government ----- 8:27 "There is agreement in this chamber on about 80% of what needs to be done." Criticizes partisanship during summer debate. ----- 8:26 "Since health care represents 1/6 of our economy, I believe in improving on what works and fixing what does not instead of building a new system from scratch." ----- 8:24 "Our health care system is putting an unsustainable burden on taxpayers." "Our health care problem IS our deficit problem. Nothing else comes close." ----- 8:23 First GOP-involved standing ovation comes after stories about people who lost coverage for really dumb reasons. ----- 8:21 "There are now more than 30 million citizens who cannot get coverage... Every day 14,000 Americans lose their coverage. In other words, it can happen to anyone." ----- 8:20 Have to say John Dingell, Sr. and Jr. have been persistent. Senior first introduced health care bill in Congress 65 years ago. ----- 8:19 Republicans don't stand on applause line for "We have pulled economy back from the brink." Sounding very much like a State of the Union so far. Here comes the focus on health care. "I am not the first president to take up this cause, but I am determined to be the last." Republicans sit again. ----- 8:17 "I won't give up until those seeking jobs can find them." ----- 8:16 It always amazes me that right after applauding for several minutes, everyone applauds for several more after the president is introduced. ----- 8:14 Those are some big envelopes for the speech he just gave VP and Speaker. Wonder what they say on the front? ----- 8:10 Here comes the president. Photographer blocks Sergeants-at-Arms. Rep. Mike McIntyre, just like at the State of the Union, is right on the aisle in the back as one of first members to greet the president. McIntyre told me about SotU that he got the spot by getting there a little early and not giving it up when others were shooed away. Guess he figured it worked once, might as well try it again. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. ----- 8:09 Panning shot of chamber shows at least one (I assume) Congressman playing with his Blackberry. ----- 8:07 I'm not one for fashion critiques, but I find it interesting that the first lady is wearing sleeves for this summertime speech when she went sleeveless back in the winter at the State of the Union. ----- 8:05 The schmoozefest is well underway as the cabinet makes its way down the aisle led by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel is also in the chamber. Did you know he lost part of a finger years ago on a meat slicer while working at an Arby's? True story. ----- Let's try something new for and do a live blog of an event. President Barack Obama's health care reform speech seems as good an event as any. I'll post updates throughout the speech as I watch ABC's coverage. Most recent updates will be at the top of the page.

By: Kevin Wuzzardo


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