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President Obama brings health care message to North Carolina

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President Barack Obama brought his push for health care reform to the Tar Heel State Wednesday. He spoke to citizens at a town hall meeting in Raleigh.

A standing-room only crowd greeted the President at Raleigh’s Broughton High School Wednesday, as he turns up the rhetoric to try and sell his health care reform plan.

“If you’ve got health insurance, then the reform we’re proposing will also help you, because it will provide you more stability and more security,” Obama said.

The President said his plan would cap out-of-pocket costs for patients, require insurance companies cover check-ups and preventative care, keep insurers from capping yearly and lifetime coverage and prevent them from denying you coverage because of your medical history. He also said it would help lower prescription costs and help small businesses provide insurance for workers.

Wilmington resident Kay Zwan knows about facing these challenges. We first met Zwan in February. She told us she lost private coverage for her family when she lost her job. This was made even more difficult because her husband and son both battle chronic illnesses when she lost her job last year.

“We’ve got to break that monopoly so that people, all classes of people, and those that are sick and disabled have access to the affordable care that they need,” Zwan said Wednesday in Raleigh.

But critics say the President’s plan would cost about a trillion dollars over ten years on top of the huge deficit the nation already faces.

Governor Bev Perdue supports reform, but wants to make sure it doesn’t burden families or the state.

Perdue said “It’s gotta be the right cost, the right care at the right place at the right time.”

The president said about two-thirds of the cost is already in the health care system. He said it just needs to be spent the right way on the right things.

And as congress works on reform, the President wants the goal kept in focus.

“Here in North Carolina you know this isn’t about politics, this is about people’s lives,” Obama said, “It’s about people’s businesses. This is about the future.”

The President originally wanted a health care reform package from Congress before its August recess. Wednesday he said the best-case scenario would be the House and Senate to vote on it by late September or October.

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President Barack Obama told North Carolinians his plan would cap out-of-pocket costs for patients, require insurance companies cover check-ups and preventative care, keep insurers from capping yearly and lifetime coverage and prevent them from denying you coverage because of your medical history.

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Associated poll

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