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Obama: Health Care Reform Is 'Necessity'

U.S. President Barack Obama says he remains focused on priorities at home, like health care reform, even while he is on a trip through the Middle East and Europe.

In his weekly radio and television address Saturday, Mr. Obama said fixing the nation's health care system is no longer a "luxury" but a "necessity we cannot postpone any longer."

He said the government needed to tackle the problem of "skyrocketing costs" - some of which he attributed to "unwarranted profiteering."  He said some of best health clinics in the country show that high quality care is not always the most costly.

Mr. Obama also said any reform plan must preserve consumer choice.

He said Congress is preparing to introduce and debate legislation imminently.

On Friday, a plan for health care reform prepared by U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy (a Democrat from Massachusetts) is circulating in Washington, DC.  The legislation would require employers to offer health care to employees and forbid insurers from denying coverage to anyone.

The plan would also make a government-sponsored plan available to people not covered under current government programs.

A spokesman for the Senator said the plan was a "draft of a draft" and plans for legislation are still under discussion.

Some information for this report provided by AP.
 

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