COLUMBIA — President Barack Obama gave a congressional address regarding health care legislation Wednesday night, hoping to not only clear up confusion surrounding the reform's many proposals but also laying out specifics for his plan.
1) Would expand coverage by making it against the law to deny coverage for pre-existing conditions.
2) Would create a new insurance exchange, which would essentially allow the public to "shop" for health care by comparing their options. This plan would include a not-for-profit public option for people who can't afford any coverage.
3) Would create an employer mandate that would require businesses to pay for their employees' health insurance or pay a penalty to chip in for the cost. Many small businesses would be exempt.
This plan is similar to a bill sponsored by Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., out of the Senate Finance Committee. He released that the day of Obama's address.
There are other plans that circulated before Congress' August recess, one in the House and one in the Senate. Even with all the plans on the table, Congress' recess presented a time for many town hall style meetings. Speakers were met with hostility, and Obama said they sometimes caused even more separation and confusion on the issue. Obama was even booed during his speech Wednesday night.
Although many people support some kind of health care reform, this is one of the first times the president has offered specific intentions for health care legislation.
How do you think Obama handled his congressional address? Is there more to be covered?