Obama for cutting health care costs to face India, China challenges

March 25th, 2009 - 10:10 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama By Arun Kumar
Washington, March 25 (IANS) President Barack Obama wants to reduce health care and energy costs to lessen the massive national debt lest India and China overtake a recession hit US economy.

“We’re doing everything we can to reduce that deficit,” Obama said addressing his second prime time news conference Tuesday night. A fiscal deficit of over $1.3 trillion left by the Bush administration is expected to double with the stimulus measures to rescue the economy.

But it’s hard to do so “because we’ve accumulated a structural deficit that’s going to take a long time, and we’re not going to be able to do it next year or the year after or three years from now. What we have to do is bend the curve on these deficit projections,” Obama said.

“And the best way for us to do that is to reduce health care costs,” he said suggesting investment in health information technologies and preventive care. “Let’s do a whole host of things, some of which cost money on the front end, but offer the prospect of reducing costs on the back end.

“Now, the alternative is to stand pat and to simply say: We are just going to not invest in health care. We’re not going to take on energy. We’ll wait until the next time that gas gets to $4 a gallon. We will not improve our schools.

“And we’ll allow China or India or other countries to lap our young people in terms of their performance. We will settle on lower growth rates, and we will continue to contract, both as an economy and our ability to provide a better life for our kids,” Obama said.

Asked about a Chinese proposal to replace the US dollar as the reserve currency with a new global currency run with a different standard by the International Monetary Fund, he said: “I don’t believe that there’s a need for a global currency.”

“The dollar is extraordinarily strong right now,” Obama said, “and the reason the dollar is strong right now is because investors consider the United States the strongest economy in the world with the most stable political system in the world.”

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