Daily Video

June 12, 2009

Health Care Reform Battle Begins

President Obama visited Green Bay, Wisconsin this week to discuss the need for comprehensive health care reform to fix the nation’s inefficient and expensive system.

Back in Washington, Republicans and Democrats were largely divided about what should be done to fix health care, an effort that some experts say could cost more than $1 trillion over 10 years.

President Obama and Congressional Democrats support a public health insurance plan which would provide government-run health care for Americans as an alternative to private insurance companies.

Congressional Republicans oppose plans to expand government-backed health care coverage saying that such a system would cost too much money and would interfere with the private market.

NewsHour correspondant Kwame Holman reports from Washington D.C., where members of Congress are weighing the options.


“We have the most expensive health care system in the world, bar none. We spend almost 50 percent more per person on health care than the next most expensive nation, 50 percent more. But here’s the thing: We’re not any healthier for it. We don’t necessarily have better outcomes.” – President Barack Obama

“If we don’t act, and act soon, to bring down costs, it will jeopardize everybody’s health care. If we don’t act, every American will feel the consequence, in higher premiums — which, by the way, means lower take-home pay — in lost jobs and shuttered business, in a rising number of uninsured and a rising debt that our children and their children will be paying off for decades.” President Barack Obama

“I’m opposed to a government option, period. Listen, if you like going to the DMV, and you think they do a great job, or if you like going to the post office and think it’s the most efficient thing you have run into, then you will love the government-run health care system that they’re proposing, because that’s basically what you’re going to have.” – U.S. Representative John Boehner, R-Ohio

Warm Up Questions

1. How much do you think it costs to go to the doctor?

2. How much does it cost to go to the hospital?

3. What does it mean to be insured or uninsured?

4. What are some ways people can get health insurance?

Discussion Questions

1. Do you agree or disagree that every American has a fundamental right to affordable health care? Why or why not?

2. Do you believe that it is the government’s responsibility to make sure that every American is insured? Or do you think it is something that families should pay for?

3. Many people get health care coverage as a benefit through their employer. Do you think employers should be responsible with providing their employees with health insurance?

4. What kinds of people are uninsured? The unemployed? The poor? Children? What happens if they get sick and they don’t have health insurance?

5. How can health care reform impact the American economy?

6. What kinds of heath care systems do other countries have?

Additional Resources

Read the transcript

Health Care Debate Series

  • Tags:

  • Related Stories

    Tooltip of related stories

    More Videos

    Tooltip of more video block

    Submit Your Student Voice

    NewsHour Extra will not use contact information for any purpose other than our own records. We do not share information with any other organization.

    More Videos