News Conference

President Barack Obama
The White House
July 22, 2009

Question: …is this bill going to cover all 47 million Americans that are uninsured…?

President Obama: I want to cover everybody. Now, the truth is that unless you have a what’s called a single-payer system in which everybody is automatically covered, then you’re probably not going to reach every single individual…

There might still be people left out there who, even though there’s an individual mandate, even though they are required to purchase health insurance, might still not get it, or despite a lot of subsidies are still in such dire straits that it’s still hard for them to afford it, and we may end up giving them some sort of hardship exemption.

Yes, but… why would hardship exemptions ever be preferred to automatic coverage of everyone under single payer?