July 13th, 2009
03:23 PM ET
9 years ago

Obama, top Dems to tackle health reform alternatives

President Obama will meet with top congressional Democrats to discuss how to pay for health care.

President Obama will meet with top congressional Democrats to discuss how to pay for health care.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Obama will huddle with five top congressional Democrats on Monday afternoon to discuss how to pay for the health care reform bills that are stalled in Congress, largely over the issue of which taxes should be raised to cover the $1 trillion price tag, congressional aides told CNN.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs confirmed the meeting during his daily press briefing.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada will join the chairs of the tax-writing committees in the House and Senate - Rep. Charlie Rangel of New York and Sen. Max Baucus of Montana - for the White House gathering. A Democratic aide told CNN that House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer is also attending the meeting.

Obama invited the leaders to the 4:30 p.m. meeting in part to sift through the various proposals lawmakers are considering to raise hundreds of billions of dollars for health reform.

It's Obama's first health care reform meeting with congressional leaders since returning from an overseas trip.

On Capitol Hill, aides were reluctant to publicize the meeting. One said it was meant to be kept "secret."

Republicans and Democrats, meanwhile, sparred Sunday over how to pay for health care reform.

Full story

Updated: 3:23 p.m.

Filed under: Health care • President Obama
soundoff (118 Responses)

    Of course it was supposed to be secret...this is how this congress of transparency works...the more backdoor the better.

    July 13, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  2. Waiting for 2010 for real change

    Whats wrong with having the unisured pay their own premiums for their own healthcare coverage? Why should the "rich" and those with health insurance pay for those without? I pay for my own insurance.

    July 13, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  3. Rick McDaniel

    Well we know we can expect the Dems to tax the middle class to death, to pay for health care. That is always who they force to pay, while the rich and famous keep their fortunes and influence.

    July 13, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  4. Jody

    Where's the bipartisanship Obama promised? Hard to see how he hopes to achieve bipartisanship when no republicans are invited to the "secret" meetintgs.

    Guess they're just gonna try to bully through a healthcare bill like they did with the stimulus, the budget, and like they're trying to do with cap and tax.

    July 13, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  5. John from California

    We have had over thirty years of continuing tax reductions for the rich and all we have to show for it is a deep recession.

    It's high time that the rich pay their "fair share".

    July 13, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  6. GI Joe

    Hope something gets started. People are hurting out here.

    If it isn't perfect at first, recommendations and modifications can be made, but something has to be done very soon. Our nation is going bankrupt while Insurance Companies continue to lead in profits (notice how many insurance ads on tv? they aren't free).

    July 13, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  7. kyle from ohio

    Price for democratic plan on affordable health care: $1.6 trillion over ten years. Current spending by Americans that goes into the pockets of private insurers and health care providers: $2 trillion PER YEAR! The private companies are already ripping us off for over ten times the money the public option would give us.

    Our two tiered health system allows insurance companies to charge individuals one price while allowing drastic reductions to insurance companies. Health services should have the same price to individuals or insurance companies.

    It does not take more money to fix Health Care, because we are already spending the money on the current system, which by the way According to the World Health Organization we are now 37th in the world in healthcare, and the cost of our healthcare is far higher than any other Western Power. What we need to do is restructure how we are spending the money currently.

    July 13, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  8. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    I'm not sure the Ppresident will have the bill on his desk before the August recess, but I commend Congress for working steadfast on the matter.

    July 13, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  9. Stuffit

    Survey says! ..... tax hikes!

    July 13, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  10. Fair is Fair

    On Capitol Hill, aides were reluctant to publicize the meeting. One said it was meant to be kept "secret."


    And why are no republicans being asked to attend (again)?

    July 13, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  11. Terry, Butte, MT

    $1 trillion price tag? The last budget analysis done by congress was $600 Billion. And they haven't done an analysis on Single Payer which would come out a lot less.

    What needs to be looked at is the cost the American people and businesses are paying for their health insurance, high deductables, and co-pays compared to any increase in taxes.

    July 13, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  12. Bob

    If everyone who used our health care system were paying, in some way, for that health care, and with some controls placed on cost, then the health care system could manage it self; without government interference. The Taxpayers are paying for what we do have, and we are providing health care for the millions of illegals in this country who are not paying any income taxes, reporting either no income or income levels low enough to qualify for "free" healthcare.

    The issue of illigal aliens in this country needs to be properly addressed. Not by giving the right to work cards, or constitutional rights, but by haveing the follow all the rules for become citizens, as millions of others have done.

    July 13, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  13. S Callahan

    No more taxes, stay way far away from Social Security...oh what the heck...what good is my advice....they already have the game in the box and are now just trying to sell it...or just give it away.

    July 13, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  14. Henry Miller

    How about this: Obama can have his staff set up a web site that accepts contributions toward a fund that pay for health insurance coverage for the presently uninsured.

    Personally, I expect this scheme would collect a tiny fraction of that trillion bucks–most of the people whining about how the country "needs" universal health care support it only as long as someone else is forced to pay the bill.

    July 13, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  15. Jeff - Texas

    We don't need health reform we need the lazy people to get out and find a job, we need to get the illegals out of the country. We need the young people to quit buying cars and houses they can't afford so they can get their health care. Health care is not a right it is a benefit. stomach. I never realized how many stupid people we have in this country until now!!

    July 13, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  16. Typical Democrat

    The rich need to pay for it. Why should they get to keep the money they earned and not share it with the rest of us, that's just not fair. I couldn't possibly be expected to go out and get a job and take care of myself, that would require me to give up all my spare time and have to work hard to earn a living. No thanks, Obama promised he would take care of my every need with someone else's money. I love this change...............America is becoming my kind of country.

    July 13, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  17. Mississippi Mike

    That's really "reaching across the aisle" and a true show of the Obama's sense of bipartisanship. Why no dissenters? Why not hear the other side out and make some compromises? He just can't let go of his socialist ideology long enough to make a good decision.

    July 13, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  18. awaitingliberalizationbyCNN

    The main theme of the meeting will of course be "How can we fool them today?" So what did the hospitals and the pill companies get for all of this money they are supposedly giving up? I know the answer, I just want to hear some liberal answer in plain speak, they never will because it is a sham and hoax, like everything they do.

    July 13, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  19. Shawnee Britsbart

    Secret? Where's the openness on this?

    July 13, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  20. Stephanie

    I would say that President Obama is right on health care reform with his excellent apt. of the Surgeon General which CNN's blog does not do justice to in its rush to get the unofficial announcement on its blog.

    It is laughable that CNN would comment that it is the President's "first health care meeting" since arriving home seeing as he arrived home just yesterday.meeting

    July 13, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  21. Sam Sixpack

    Into who's pocket will this $1 trillion go?

    July 13, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  22. SLM

    Why not eliminate Workmans comp insurance premiums and replace that program to become Healthcare? We pay almost $600 per month per employee for workmans comp and we haven't had a claim in over 15 years. Wouldn't that money be better spent to provide our employee with health insurance? Workmans comp only covers on the job injuries, Health inusrance would cover all health related issues. A program like that would cover every worker. That would also eliminate all the fraud and lawyers that there are with workmans comp.

    July 13, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  23. skyhawkdriver

    The only way for this fiasco of a so called health care reform to happen is for the people of this country to endure another tax increase..this plan is not intended to cover the people who are here legally and work for a living..this plan is going to do nothing for us but raise our taxes..this plan is for all the illegals and welfare collectors among us..I own a small buisness and clear in a good year 90,000.00..my accountant has told me that with the current proposed plan my income taxes will increase 17 percent..guess what I will do??..layoff my employees..close my doors and just fly away south..don't be fooled people..your taxes are going up and buisnesses will lay off people and go out of buisness..maybe that's what obama wants..more people on welfare

    July 13, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  24. John

    Why is it that national media has not reported on the efforts of the insurance industry to sidetrack healthcare reform, as was reported last week by Bill Moyer of PBS? It will be a miracle if meaningful healthcare reform is accomplished with this rich and powerful lobby working behind the scene to destroy it.

    July 13, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  25. RI Moderate

    "Hmmm – what should we do?"

    "I know – let's tax the rich!"

    "Yeah – How dare they work hard and make good choices!"

    July 13, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
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