By Joseph Goedert

A major effort to reform America's health care system starts next week, President Obama told the nation during his State of the Union Address on February 24. And that's on top of health initiatives, including major information technology provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, enacted during the past month.

"Already, we have done more to advance the cause of health care reform in the last thirty days than we have in the last decade," Obama said. "When it was days old, this Congress passed a law to provide and protect health insurance for eleven million American children whose parents work full-time. Our recovery plan will invest in electronic health records and new technology that will reduce errors, bring down costs, ensure privacy, and save lives. It will launch a new effort to conquer a disease that has touched the life of nearly every American by seeking a cure for cancer in our time. And it makes the largest investment ever in preventive care, because that is one of the best ways to keep our people healthy and our costs under control."

Now, the nation must address the "crushing cost" of health care, Obama added.

"I suffer no illusions that this will be an easy process," he said. "It will be hard. But I also know that nearly a century after Teddy Roosevelt first called for reform, the cost of our health care has weighed down our economy and the conscience of our nation long enough. So let there be no doubt: health care reform cannot wait, it must not wait, and it will not wait another year."

Full text of the address is available at whitehouse.gov.

This article was originally published on HealthDataManagement.com.

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