Throughout both his campaign and his first term, President Obama had pointed to specific incidents and realities that were to serve as sparks towards change in health care policy. The President used these realities to convince the public of the need to develop a consistent national health care policy.
The President demonstrated a consistency with which he detailed the examples for health care change. As early as the Presidential debates with Republican challenger Senator John McCain in 2008, Candidate Obama suggested that, "We have to fix our health care system, which is putting an enormous burden on families. Just -- a report just came out that the average deductible went up 30 percent on American families." This became a familiar reminder that the candidate employed to spark change in government health care policy.
In 2009, President Obama delivered a speech to the American Medical Association. The AMA served as a setting to highlight specific examples that sought to galvanize people into embracing a change in government health care policy:
It's [the current health care condition] unsustainable for Americans like Laura Klitzka, a young mother that I met in Wisconsin just last week, who's learned that the breast cancer she thought she'd beaten had spread to her bones, but who's now being forced to spend time worrying about how to cover the $50,000 in medical debts she's already accumulated, worried about future debts that she's going to accumulate, when all she wants to do is spend time with her two children and focus on getting well. These are not the worries that a woman like Laura should have to face in a nation as wealthy as ours.
The exorbitant costs of health care for patients was one specific example that served to spark a change in the way health care services are delivered. In that same speech, another example that expressed why change was needed involved doctors who had to spend time explaining insurance options, instead of providing health care insight and with small business owners who had no choice but to lay off employees because of challenging costs. These examples were specifically designed to generate a change in the way people thought about health care. They were examples that resonated with the public in the formation of the Affordable Care Act, the centerpiece of the President's administration. They were incidents that clearly identified that a change was needed in how health care services were delivered.