Sitting on Press row, watching the crowd come in. Very organized and controlled inside, outside, not so much.
More later - - - -
They showed the President's arrival on the jumbo-tron much to the joy of those in attendance.
Program is scheduled to start around 12:30, with the President speaking by 1:00. I spoke with a White House Press Office member who stated the remarks have not been released yet. I will link them once the are up.
The Presdient has arrived, his remarks are below
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Hello, Minneapolis! It is so good to be back in the great state of Minnesota. I hear the Gophers have their home opener in their brand new stadium a little later today. I’d wish them luck, but they’re playing Air Force, and I have to fly home on one of their planes in a few hours.
I don’t know if any of you caught it on television, but the other night I gave a speech to Congress about health care. I can already see that this crowd’s a lot more fun.
But I didn’t just go to Congress to speak to Senators and Representatives. I went to speak on behalf of the American people. You see, I ran for this office because I believed it was time for a government that once again made possible the dreams of middle-class Americans – a government that understands the quiet struggles you wrestle with at the kitchen table or when you’re lying awake at the end of a long day.
Health care is one of those struggles.
If you are one of the tens of millions of Americans who have no health insurance, you live every day just one accident or illness away from bankruptcy. And these are not primarily people on welfare. These are middle-class Americans. Maybe your employer doesn’t offer coverage. Maybe you’re self-employed and can’t afford it. Or maybe you’re one of the millions of Americans who have been denied coverage due to a previous illness or condition that insurance companies decide is too risky or expensive to cover.
In the last twelve months alone, six million more Americans lost their health insurance. And today, we received more disturbing news. A new report from the Treasury Department found that nearly half of all Americans under 65 will lose their health coverage at some point over the next ten years. More than one-third will go without coverage for longer than one year. In other words, it can happen to anyone. There but for the grace of God go I.
But I don’t need to tell you that our health care problems don’t stop with the uninsured. How many of you who have health insurance have ever worried that you might lose it if you lose your job, or change jobs, or move? How many stories have you heard about folks whose insurance company decided to drop their coverage or water it down when they got sick and needed it most? How many of you know someone who paid their premiums every month only to find out that their insurance company wouldn’t cover the full cost of their care?
We’ve all heard these stories. There’s the father I met in Colorado whose child was diagnosed with severe hemophilia the day after he was born. They had insurance, but there was a cap on their coverage. So once the child’s medical bills piled up, he was left to frantically search for another option, or face tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills. Another woman from Texas was about to get a double mastectomy when her insurance company canceled her policy because she forgot to declare a case of acne. By the time she had her insurance reinstated, her breast cancer more than doubled in size. These stories are heart-breaking, they are wrong, and no one should be treated that way in the United States of America.
It has now been nearly a century since Teddy Roosevelt first called for health care reform. It has been attempted by nearly every President and Congress ever since. And our failure to get it done – year after year, decade after decade – has placed a burden on families, on businesses, and on taxpayers that we can no longer sustain.
If we do nothing, your premiums will continue to rise faster than your wages. If we do nothing, more businesses will close down and fewer will open in the first place. If we do nothing, we will eventually spend more on Medicare and Medicaid than every other government program combined. That is not an option for the United States of America. So Minnesota, I may not be the first President to take up the cause of health