Obama says healthcare reform will boost exports

Sept. 19, 2013 at 2:26 PM
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 19 (UPI) -- U.S. President Obama, speaking on trade policy Thursday at a meeting with his Export Council, says healthcare reform will boost exports.

He spoke about the fifth anniversary of the financial crisis and the recovery.

"We have worked our way back because of the incredible grit and resilience of the American people; because of the outstanding dynamism of our business sectors; because of, I think, some timely work on the part of this administration and other agencies to make sure that we were responsive to the immediate needs of the American people," Obama said.

"One of the biggest bright spots in economy has been exports; the fact that 'Made in America' means something and has provided a boost to our domestic economy, and has reminded the world just how competitive we are."

Obama made a plug for the healthcare reform, saying one of the reasons businesses are more competitive is because healthcare costs have stabilized.

"Thanks in part to the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, the cost of healthcare is now growing at the slowest rate in 50 years," he said. "Employer-based healthcare costs are growing at about one-third of the rate of a decade ago."

He said U.S. businesses are often shouldering healthcare costs that their competitors are not.

"So if the current trends hold, and all estimates are that, in fact, they will -- this is not just a byproduct of or hangover from the recession -- we're going to see a continuing slowing of increases in health care costs," he said. "That's going to boost our exports."

Obama, touting tourism as an export, highlighted Disney's role as an economic engine.

"When foreign visitors come here and spend money, that is tallied as a U.S. export," he said. "And thanks to people like Bob Iger at Walt Disney, and others, we have made enormous progress over the last several years in boosting tourism in the United States, making it easier for foreign visitors to get visas, making it easier for them to come here and enjoy the incredible attractions that we have here in the United States. That's making a big difference."

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