President Barack Obama is continuing his push to overhaul the U.S. health care system this year. The president Thursday took his message to the North Central city of Green Bay, Wisconsin.
President Obama told an audience at a public forum the nation's health care system needs to be reformed now.
"We have the most expensive health care system in the world, bar none," said President Obama. "We spend almost 50 percent more per person on health care than the next most expensive nation- 0 percent more. But here is the thing, Green Bay, we are not any healthier for it."
Mr. Obama is trying to create a new government-supported health plan to compete with private insurers.
Many Republicans, health care providers and other critics are concerned about the possibility of excessive government intervention in health care. But the president said he has no interest in creating a nationalized health care system, like the one in Great Britain.
"Nobody is talking about doing that," said Mr. Obama. "So when you hear people saying, 'socialized medicine,' understand that I do not know anybody in Washington who is proposing that-certainly not me."
In fact, Mr. Obama bristled at the suggestion that he wants the government to run Americans' health care.
"I do not want government to run stuff," he said. "Like I said, I have got enough stuff to do. I have got North Korea, and I have got Iran, and I have got Afghanistan and Iraq and…."
But the president warned that a lack of timely action on reforming health care will lead to bigger deficits, higher health insurance premiums, lower wages and more job losses.
Fifty million Americans have no health insurance coverage.