Obama urges healthcare action

President Obama took on Republican arguments against his healthcare plans in his weekly radio address, saying opponents would rather do nothing than reform the insurance system.

After a Friday afternoon speech at the White House to publicly push lawmakers to move forward on legislation, Obama again sent on the offensive against Republicans and other groups organized against the reforms he's proposed.

Obama accused special interests "and their agents in Congress" of using scare tactics to prevent reform in order to preserve profits they reap under the current system.

"And I know that once you’ve seen enough ads and heard enough people yelling on TV, you might begin to wonder whether there’s a grain of truth to what they’re saying," the president said. "So let me take a moment to answer a few of their arguments."

Obama reiterated his criteria for healthcare reform, including the creation of a public (or "government-run") option for consumers, and moved to push back against claims that his reform plan would result in "socialized medicine" or rationed care -- two key arguments made by many Republicans against Obama and congressional Democrats' plans.

"The opponents of health insurance reform would have us do nothing," the president said, taking a shot at the GOP. "But think about what doing nothing, in the face of ever increasing costs, will do to you and your family."

The president also touted the support of the American Medical Association (AMA) and American Nurses Association (ANA) for his plans announced this week, saying that "people who know the system best are rallying to the cause of change."

And as Congress continues to debate different healthcare reform packages as they race toward a self-imposed August recess deadline, Obama called on lawmakers in both parties to vote for reform.