Barack Obama photo

Interview With Jake Tapper on ABC's "Good Morning America"

March 16, 2010

Jake Tapper: There are a lot of Americans who are very afraid of this bill, and they're represented by members of Congress who are worried about voting for it. What's your message to the members of Congress and to the American people?

The President: I think what it came down to was that a lot of the misinformation about death panels or this was a government takeover of health care turned out not to be true. What is true is there's a philosophical disagreement because some who are opposed to this bill think that, if we deregulate the insurance companies, that that will reduce rates. There's no evidence that that would, in fact, happen.

Jake Tapper: How do you guard against unintended consequences that, all of a sudden, there are going to be 31 million more people who are covered by health insurance? There are a lot of questions whether or not the infrastructure can take all those new people who are all covered.

The President: Well, the infrastructure couldn't take it right away, which is why this is all being phased in. The question is, if we don't start now, then it won't be in place three, four, four, or five years from now. And then we'll be waiting another decade or another 15 years or another 20 years to actually take on this problem.

Look, this is not a problem I chose. This is a problem that is there and is affecting every aspect of American life.

Jake Tapper: Well, thank you, sir.

The President: Thank you, Jake.

Jake Tapper: Do you have the votes?

The President: Appreciate you -- I believe we are going to get the votes. We're going to make this happen.

Barack Obama, Interview With Jake Tapper on ABC's "Good Morning America" Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

Simple Search of Our Archives