From NBC's Mark Murray
Today, President Obama returns to Iowa City, where he unveiled his health-care plan as a presidential candidate nearly three year ago (on May 29, 2007).
Revisiting some of the lines from that Iowa City speech is instructive to see where Obama fulfilled his promises on health care -- and where he didn't.
People who watch as every year, candidates offer up detailed health care plans with great fanfare and promise, only to see them crushed under the weight of Washington politics and drug and insurance industry lobbying once the campaign is over.
Unlike his predecessors, Obama passed health-care reform, although the debate came at a cost for the president. And while the insurance industry campaigned against the reform, the drug industry (PhRMA) backed it after extracting concessions from the administration.
We can do this. The climate is far different than it was the last time we tried this in the early nineties.
He was correct.
My plan begins by covering every American… If you are one of the 45 million Americans who don't have health insurance, you will have it after this plan becomes law.
The law is estimated to insure an additional 32 million Americans, but it will not cover every American.
No one will be turned away because of a preexisting condition or illness. Everyone will be able buy into a new health insurance plan that's similar to the one that every federal employee… If you cannot afford this insurance, you will receive a subsidy to pay for it. If you have children, they will be covered. If you change jobs, your insurance will go with you.
All of that, in some form or fashion, is covered in the legislation. However, the health exchanges -- where people can purchase insurance plans -- are available mainly to just individuals and small businesses. Also, not everyone will be able to buy on the exchange; illegal immigrants are prohibited from doing so.
Never forget that we have it within our power to shape history in this country. It is not in our character to sit idly by as victims of fate or circumstance, for we are a people of action and innovation, forever pushing the boundaries of what's possible. Now is the time to push those boundaries once more.
The bill that Obama signed into law -- as well as the fixes that he will soon sign into law -- represents one of the most significant pieces of legislation in the last 50 years.
Additional note: Two of the biggest departures from Obama's health plan in 2007 and the legislation that was signed into law were the inclusion of a mandate to buy health insurance and an excise tax on expensive health plans.