November 25th, 2007
06:53 AM ET
7 years ago

Obama touts healthcare plan, Clinton camp fires back

Obama campaigned in Iowa on Saturday.

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (CNN) - Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said Saturday that his healthcare plan would bring costs down more than any of his opponents' plans would.

"Cost is the number one reason that 47 million Americans do not have health insurance," Obama said. "This is wrong, and it’s why my plan does more to cut the cost of health care than any other proposal in this race."

Obama said it would save the "typical family" $2,500 a year in healthcare premiums.

He added that the reason people don't have healthcare is because it's too expensive, not because they don't want it. He said that's why a mandated plan–what rivals Hillary Clinton and John Edwards are offering–won't necessarily solve the problem.

The Clinton campaign was quick to fire back.

"[Senator Obama] wrote a plan that leaves 15 million Americans without coverage," said Clinton spokesman Phil Singer in a statement. "That is unacceptable and Senator Obama should explain why he chose to leave so many people uninsured. When it comes to cutting costs, Senator Clinton's plan is just as aggressive, if not more so. The real difference is that her plan covers every American."

Click here to see CNN's new political portal: CNNPolitics.com

– CNN Iowa Producer Chris Welch


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Iowa • Race to '08
soundoff (72 Responses)
  1. B T A, D.C.

    Oh cnn, go get a better pic of Obama. One that doesn't have the undecipherable writings in the back. Don't think we don't know what you're trying to achieve; beside it's high time you start using a different photo of him.

    November 25, 2007 01:40 am at 1:40 am |
  2. Marcus, Chicago

    If Clinton thinks that she'll find many Republicans willing to work with her on a plan that requires individuals to buy coverage, she must have been the one who DID inhale. Even if it serves a greater long term good, most Republicans will fight against any proposal that requires someone to do something, on principle, if nothing else. So SINCE her plan isn't passable, perhaps they'll look at another option, which is what Obama has ready for them. Score one for the man from Illinois.

    November 25, 2007 01:58 am at 1:58 am |
  3. alan St Louis MO

    Democrats have an opportunity to make the biggest blowout in the next coming election. But the Hard left nuts are go to screw it up and swing it back to republicans.

    You have a candidate JOE BIDDEN who has the liberal ideas but the strength of a republican on National defense and military. Joe Bidden can cause mass defection of mild republicans and independent to vote Democrat.

    GET REAL do you think CLINTON can steal the votes of mild Republicans and Independents????? Go find some republicans and ask them If you have to pick a Democrat candidate who will it be??? Clinton will be on the bottom of the list, Joe Bidden on the TOP with Obama second.

    IF Democrats want HATEFUL revenge on Republicans they will put Joe Bidden to run for president. He could easily pull 75%to 80% of the popular vote.

    Clinton on her best Day with God on her side can pull almost 50% of the popular vote. Do democrats want to take a 50 50 chance on losing the general election?????

    GO Joe Bidden then Obama

    How about a compromise?? If you must have a Clinton ask her to run as Bidden Vice President Then at least you still have a SHOE in VICTORY in the general election.

    November 25, 2007 02:30 am at 2:30 am |
  4. Christian, Tampa FL

    Obama's plan is more likely to gain bipartisan support. Hillary should keep in mind that her first attempt at health care failed, and she should be humble about it, because it could either fail again or be forced into a myriad of legislative changes.

    November 25, 2007 02:38 am at 2:38 am |
  5. John Halverson DC

    I want the Government as far away as possible from as much as possible. They screw EVERYTHING up. Who wants to go to Walter Reid type hospitals for Health Care?

    November 25, 2007 02:43 am at 2:43 am |
  6. Moe, NY

    You just do not get it Obama! What is $2500 a year going to do for me? I still could not afford heath care, and I know I am not alone. Socialized medicine is the way to go in this country and the insurance companies/pharmacutical companies, AMA, etc. can all go to hades as far as I am concerned. Your plan does not even come close to helping Americans obtain health insurance. Get with the program Obama...try talking to the uninsured in this country and then I am sure you will realize your plan will not work, not even come close. Hillary's plan is the best to-date, and even that plan needs work.

    November 25, 2007 03:00 am at 3:00 am |
  7. FV, Tampa, FL

    Obama is a child. He has ZERO fiscal experience... he's the LEAST qualified Democrat.

    I'd vote for Ron Paul before I'd vote for him.

    November 25, 2007 04:44 am at 4:44 am |
  8. sal paradise lincoln nebraska

    Why dont we make corporations pay taxes? Isnt the point of capitalism for corporations to make as much money as possible to pay in as many taxes as possible so we can have all this infrastucture, why do we let the all of the corporate taxes go right into the military budget which is the same every year as the amount of money made from corporate taxes, we could pay for almost anything we want too free health care included, insted school are falling apart and bridges are collapsing and new orleans isnt even re-built, dont buy into the guilt complex dont be afraid not to like whats going on and actually do something about it, who can live in 5.15 an hour a new corvet cost 6000 in 67 now it costs 67,000 in 2007 i didnt know inflation went up that much, sounds like someone is padding the books and isnt giving us any of what there getting, why would you want to wake up everyday and know your getting screwed out of everything that the richest country on earth should be providing for free?

    November 25, 2007 04:47 am at 4:47 am |
  9. Jake, San Diego CA

    I see that Hillary is promising all these things in her campaign but how in the world is she going to afford all of her socialist plans?

    Can any of the Hillary supporters tell me how she is going to afford all of her campaign promises, and I hope the answer isn't raise taxes.

    Someone should let Hillary know that money doesn't grow on trees, for such an "experienced" candidate you'd think she would know this.

    As far as Healthcare plans, Hillary has already failed once what makes anyone think she'll be able to succeed now? What has she done to make you think otherwise? At least Obama's plan has a chance of getting support from both parties.

    November 25, 2007 06:26 am at 6:26 am |
  10. J. McKinney SW MO

    -Posted By Chris, Toledo, OH : November 25, 2007 12:22 am

    "Has it ever occurred to socialists that perhaps someone doesn't want health care, and that it should be their right to decide themselves whether they want it?
    In a free society, citizens would not be forced to be slaves to government health care. Democrats are obviously the pro-slavery party. They were in 1860, and they still are today.

    --–
    So where will the money come from to pay the $50,000 to $100,000 and more per operation or hospital stay of those who "don't want health care"??
    They will be the ones, I suppose, who expect the government to take care of them while they sit and draw welfare, and all the other free money given to the non-working.

    We need Hillary, for health care and all the rest that needs to be fixed in this country. Go, Hillary!

    November 25, 2007 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  11. EE

    Lets be sometimes honest in debates.It takes a hard time for Sen. Clinton to sell her healthcare plan to americans not bc its bad but bc though she did a good job in 1993 she got suffocated by drug companies and lobbyst groups.

    Had she been tough against them this time around, americans would've given her the benefit of the doubt. But instead she proudly defends lobbyst by saying lobbyst are americans(so what?)

    Obama and Edwards have not so good plans but their honesty to fight the oligarchy that derailed the 90s efforts seem to ring better with voters. Thats how I hear people talk everywhere I go.

    November 25, 2007 07:51 am at 7:51 am |
  12. AN, Fairfax, VA

    All the candidates tout their plans as if there will be no downsides. Supporters of the various plans seem oblivious any ramifications. That is not being honest with the American people. We know there will be issues of quality that will suffer.

    November 25, 2007 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  13. john, NY,NY

    Obama is just a prune face who likes attention. That is why he is making such big issue of "pot-experience" during high school, his foreign experience 6-10 years of age, now he is saying not all americans want healthcare- those were his exact words during the debate.

    Oh really Obama- tell me why don't they want healthcare. Every time you open your big fat mouth more immature you sound.

    November 25, 2007 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  14. Klaus. NY

    Jiminez:

    You have got your facts all jumbled up.
    It is Hilary that the Republicans are so anxious see as the Dem nominee.

    Just why do you think, Karl Rove, George and Laura Bush among others have come out campaigning for Hilary?

    She gets the nomination, and the Republicans sail through again. You've gotta hand it to these guys they really do have political skill.

    November 25, 2007 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  15. Nando, Palm Coast, Fl

    What good is your Plan HILLARY which will vever get passed!!!you tried for 4yrs when you were first lady, Barak's plan would get Bi Partisan Support we dont need 8yrs of The Devil you know is better than the devil you don't that the stance of politics, Vote for who's the best BS'R and hope for the best , no more this movement has started and it can't be stoped.

    OBAMA 08!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 25, 2007 08:44 am at 8:44 am |
  16. John, Richmond, VA

    I'm sick of politicians avoiding the real cause of our health care crisis. Namely Hillary among other wealthy ones. It is clear that the skyrocketing, unjustifiable charges by doctors and insurance companies are the prime cause. Although the latter is greatly influenced by our "capitalist/corrupt" judicial system, Doctors choose to make no personal sacrifice when passing their insurance fees on to us. So the bottom line is... Doctors and lawyers (very wealthy or soon to be professions)using economic blackmail to fleece the working class. You can never have a fair society when services vital to the welfare of the people are unregulated or self-regulated. At least Obama admits it's the the costs. Hillary wants to mandate insurance for us all...well, bless her little ex-lawyer heart. So now she wants to double the suffering for the ones who aren't making enough money to afford health care. I've got one of the last, good paying, middle class jobs left in the country. I have insurance. I have a wife with a progressive, degenerating disease. I had to stay in the hospital a week last year. So...we live payday to payday to deal with the premiums and left over costs (20%) insurance didn't pay. Hillary will have me paying for others insurance, which will further hamper services for my loved ones. She will not make an effort to regulate the medical industry. She is clearly one of the corrupt elite, and if you vote for her , you obviously are too. Her health plan "covering every American" is exactly what we have to fear. Where are the cost reviews in her plan? Who would perform them? Doctors? Why do most people in her class, that are self-insured, fly overseas for health care? Think about it voters!

    November 25, 2007 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  17. Len, Fallbrook, CA

    "There are only three kinds of people who are really in favor of socialised medicine: the parasites who don't care who pays as long as they get their freebies, the politicians who are always trying to buy peoples' votes with their own money, and do-gooders who'd rather their do-gooding be done with other peoples' money."

    Well said!

    "Socialized medicine is the way to go in this country and the insurance companies/pharmacutical companies, AMA, etc. can all go to hades as far as I am concerned."

    You could move to Canada...

    "why would you want to wake up everyday and know your getting screwed out of everything that the richest country on earth should be providing for free?"

    I hate to pass this along but someone has to pay for those free services you think you deserve just because you breathe here, consider getting an education and job?

    November 25, 2007 09:16 am at 9:16 am |
  18. Jerry Johnson IOWA

    This guy is struggling and trying to copy every move and statement by CLINTON. Lets just vote for the clear leader and the only choice in 2008..
    VOTE FOR CLINTON

    dont waste a vote on obama

    November 25, 2007 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  19. Ayyub, Richmond, Va

    I'm sick of politicians avoiding the real cause of our health care crisis. Namely Hillary among other wealthy ones. It is clear that the skyrocketing, unjustifiable charges by doctors and insurance companies are the prime cause. Although the latter is greatly influenced by our "capitalist/corrupt" judicial system, Doctors choose to make no personal sacrifice when passing their insurance fees on to us. So the bottom line is… Doctors and lawyers (very wealthy or soon to be professions)using economic blackmail to fleece the working class. You can never have a fair society when services vital to the welfare of the people are unregulated or self-regulated. At least Obama admits it's the the costs. Hillary wants to mandate insurance for us all…well, bless her little ex-lawyer heart. So now she wants to double the suffering for the ones who aren't making enough money to afford health care. I've got one of the last, good paying, middle class jobs left in the country. I have insurance. I have a wife with a progressive, degenerating disease. I had to stay in the hospital a week last year. So…we live payday to payday to deal with the premiums and left over costs (20%) insurance didn't pay. Hillary will have me paying for others insurance, which will further hamper services for my loved ones. She will not make an effort to regulate the medical industry. She is clearly one of the corrupt elite, and if you vote for her , you obviously are too. Her health plan "covering every American" is exactly what we have to fear. Where are the cost reviews in her plan? Who would perform them? Doctors? Why do most people in her class, that are self-insured, fly overseas for health care? Think about it voters!

    Posted By John, Richmond, VA : November 25, 2007 8:49 am

    Right on! America we need to really wake up!
    I'm Ayyub and I support
    Obama 08!

    November 25, 2007 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  20. Dennis, AK

    I am so sick and tired of this guy! Where is he coming from? He has no federal experience, was only a senator for four years! you are in elementary school longer then this guy has been on the national scene. he has already done so many stupid things on the campaign trail like admit he did coke and other drugs that there is no chance that he'd be an effective president. media wants controversy and thats why this inexperienced smoking panderer has gotten so far.

    November 25, 2007 09:35 am at 9:35 am |
  21. Chris, Middletown, CT

    and yet....none of their "plans" address the fact that lawyers file frivolous lawsuits daily...they also don't talk about the "47 million who don't have health insurance" – could work at Walmart, Staples, Starbucks and others that do provide health coverage – so...they have made a "choice" that health coverage isn't a priority....healthcare is expensive....but not addressing the reasons why its expensive will only exacerbate the real issue....

    November 25, 2007 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  22. Jim

    He is offering an opportunity to allow for the structure we currently have, just lower costs to where they are feasible for all Americans. This seems much better than moving us into a national health system as Clinton seems to be. And it seems, dare I say, reasonable and something that might have bipartisan support.

    November 25, 2007 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  23. Tikara, Warsaw, Indiana

    None of their plans address the issues that the insurance compamnies will still make money hand over fist, that administration fees will still eat 65% of every dollar spent for health care, that you still will pay an arm and an leg for co-pays, deductables, prescriptions, and that the cost of that will still keep people in debt up to their eyeballs. HR 676 look it up people, been in the House for awhile has the approval of labor unions, churches, doctors, heck even the Hip Hop Caucus.
    Read the facts on a single payer system of Universal Health Care
    http://www.healthcare-now.org/single_payer_faqs.html

    November 25, 2007 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  24. Andrew, Haslett, MI

    Stupid Democrats and their mandates, their socialist policies, their disregard for personal freedom and choice. Even Obama is wagging his finger at Hilary and offering "a choice" except that it's a choice of one government-run plan for another. Sure, everyone will get coverage because it will be forced on them, but what kind of coverage will it be? How will they force the insurance companies to cover everyone? How will these plans prevent the costs from continuing to rise? How will they ensure coverage for the unemployed and how will they be able to pay for it? Raising taxes, most likely, putting the burden right back on the taxpayer.

    People need to realize when the government tries to run ANYTHING, they screw it up. National healthcare will simply reduce the quality of care, drive up costs for care, and reduce the power of people to control their own finances. Put the choices back in the hands of the people!

    November 25, 2007 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  25. AConcerned Citizen, CA

    All, Please think and understand how this will impact us and who will win in the long term. Healthcare companies?

    I think we should understand the difference between the plans. Clinton's plan REQUIRES every American to buy health insurance, whether they can afford it or not. However, Obama's plan covers most Americans but gives us a CHOICE. Out of approx. 300 Million Americans, 15 million potentially will not be insured. Frankly, that is MUCH better than what we have today.

    Clinton's plan REQUIRES every American to have health insurance whether they want to pay for it or not.

    MANDATING healthcare? I don't think the government should dictate whether we pay for health insurance, especially if we don't want it.

    Stop giving away your freedom and think!

    Posted By Wallace, Chicago IL : November 24, 2007 11:55 pm

    Wallace, mandating affordable healthcare is not giving away your freedom. It's like mandating afoordable clothes on your body. Read Clinton's plan first and then think how much you are lying to satisfy your impure heart.

    November 25, 2007 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
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