Obama: Health reform will see 'glitches' before drives down costs

Healthcare reform--and health insurance exchanges--took center stage Tuesday as President Barack Obama admitted that implementation of the law will inevitably hit some snags.

"Even if we do everything perfectly, there will still be glitches and bumps," Obama said at a news conference, according to The Hill's Healthwatch. "That's pretty much true of every government program that's ever been set up."

But despite the seemingly dire prediction, Obama also forecasted that the reform law ultimately will decrease healthcare costs, the Los Angeles Times reported. "If we stay with it, and we understand what our long-term objective is, which is making sure that in a country as wealthy as ours nobody should go bankrupt if they get sick and that we would rather have people getting regular checkups than going to the emergency room because they don't have healthcare … then we're going to be able to drive down costs," he said.

Addressing the insurance exchanges that the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services is establishing in more than half of the states, Obama said it's "still a big complicated piece of business," and that Republican opposition further challenges the process, reported Kaiser Health News. "When you're doing it nationwide, relatively fast, and you've got half of Congress who is determined to try to block implementation and not adequately funding implementation … that makes it harder," he said.

Obama also reiterated predictions made by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius that the agency will meet all reform deadlines. "We've got a great team in place. We are pushing very hard to make sure we are hitting the deadlines and the benchmarks," Obama said.

To learn more:
- read The Hill's Healthwatch article
- see the Los Angeles Times article
- check out the Kaiser Health News article

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