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)
  1. Nunya

    The Surgeon General choice is rather interesting when it comes to the topic of funding health care reform. The story about her listed her close relatives and the 'preventable diseases' that either killed them or are keeping them severely restricted – diabetes, high blood pressure, lung cancer from smoking, breathing problems from smoking...

    The number one way these diseases are preventable is making the appropriate lifestyle choices.

    As long as there are people making lifestyle choices which lead them to have such diseases and the high costs that accompany the disease, those of us who do make appropriate lifestyle choices should not have to pay one red cent to fund the health care for them.

    July 13, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  2. johnnie

    president obama, will succed in getting health care done this year. the american people want reform,that is the line at the bottom. the gop is trying all they can to block , what has come closer than anytime in history ,to pass a health bill, that will help those without. it is very in the majority,that it will service the ailing .how can any political party be against whats good for the unisured,the gop will suffer more in 2010 and in 2012,for going to try and block it, because they wont.president obama is uniting the troops ,rangel, reed, baucus,and the lady nancy pelosi, to move its power foward. a majority in 3 houses was what the gop always feared, and they better get use to it.the president said today , we are going to get this done ,this year. and that is the truth ,president obama knows how to move his agenda with rapid response. great job mr.president.

    July 13, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  3. Sam Sixpack

    When this new $1 trillion comes into play, pills that now cost $2,000 per month will increase to $4,000 per month. How does this help anybody I know?

    You can fool all of the people some of the time, some of the people all of the time, but you only need to fool enough of the people enough of the time.

    July 13, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  4. yuri

    A cantankerous Cantor from Virginia, and a belligerent Boehner are eagerly waitin' to further fan the flames of furor and fury, by fuelin' a few, shall we say, fanatic fomentations of, perhaps, their own folly.

    Nonetheless, BHO has one helluva job to do to convince the cynics of healthcare changes. He always opens his arguments by saying-inaction is not an option. The GOP is becoming a pack of pachyderms, by parryin' those as pugnacious pushes of his policies. Let's wait 'n' see.

    July 13, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  5. IRS man

    Your doing a great job President Obama.The middleclass support your every move.Hey Rush,hows that UBS acct.Were saving you for last,like the cherry on top the sunday.hahaha

    July 13, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  6. Jefe

    Here's a couple of ideas:

    1) For every dollar a pharmeceutical corporation spends on advertising, charge them $5 in taxes. That should more than cover it. Pill advertising is disgusting and inappropriate. There is no good reason for the majority of TV commercials to be hawking prescription meds to consumers.

    2) Tax health insurance corporation profits 90%. Having a for-profit health insurance industry clearly has benefitted nobody – except for the health insurance industry. 10-20% annual cost-increases is not indicitive of a good business model, its indicitive of an industry in desparate need of either regulation or dissolution.

    July 13, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  7. Obama Victim

    "secret" meetings to find a way to screw the country??? seems about right for Obozo and the other clowns

    July 13, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  8. annie s

    Americans deserve comprehensive health care reform with a public option – and frankly, while I believe the President's suggestions for how to pay for it will cover most of the costs, I really don't mind paying more taxes if necessary. Letting this opportunity fall by the wayside would be a major failure on Congress's part. We voted for change, Senators & Representatives; if you can't deliver, we can do it again.

    July 13, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  9. Kevin from Co

    Them dems just love to figure out new ways to tax the hard working people to give more hand outs to lazy.

    July 13, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  10. Joseph, Los Angeles California

    It the "powers that be" refuse to give us government run health care; then they should give up their government run health care and apply with the current health care companies that we are forced to sign up with.

    July 13, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  11. Todays Democrat

    I don't care who pays for it as long as it is FREE for me!

    July 13, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  12. jody

    You could do what Canada does and put some more taxes on cigerattes and alcohol.

    July 13, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  13. montag24

    How to pay for health care reform? It's simple – roll back the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest 1%.

    (Yeah, like that's going to happen!)

    July 13, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  14. Kevin B

    I wonder how many republicans have yet to figure out that if health care cost are not reigned in very soon the complete budget is at risk for insolvency over the long haul and these cost will hamper any chances of a sustained recovery.

    But lets all stand by while the GOP rolls out the tired, fear based "socialized" medicine, "DMV" comparisons and how bad the "Canadian "system is; propaganda.

    All the GOP has left is name calling and fear.

    July 13, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  15. Sniffit

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

    Or pay their middle-class workers the same average salaries for 30 years during which they've accumulated and horded approximately 10-12% more of the nation's wealth....

    Check the stats buddy.

    July 13, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  16. Sniffit

    "All the GOP has left is name calling and fear."

    And here I thought that was pretty much what they started with...

    July 13, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  17. TCM

    @Kevin B –

    let's see....I believe it's either 3 or 4 plans that the republicans have presented as healthcare options. What happens is, liberals like you, who are in a position to censor such information, to further their agenda...crush any viable alternatives. Don't fear, though, I'm sure you're quite capable to fund the medical care of several other "obama supporters," huh? It's not that opposition is created of haters, just those that feel they should keep what they make.

    July 13, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  18. Henry Miller

    @John from California: "It's high time that the rich pay their "fair share"."

    Depending on precisely where you define "rich," the rich pay somewhere between 90 and 95 percent of all the individual income tax collected while 40% of people filing individual income tax returns pay no tax at all.

    Accordingly, by the "fair share" criteria, the rich are due a huge reduction in the taxes they're compelled to pay, while that 40% in the lower end of the income scale ought to be forced to pay much higher taxes.

    Be careful what you wish for–you might get it.

    July 13, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  19. TCM

    @montag24 –

    the top wage earners in this country pay 40% of the tax revenues received....stop recitiing obamaese you picked up from USA Today or off of Obamasites....brainless liberals...

    July 13, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  20. TCM

    @J.P. –

    haha..that's a good one...

    July 13, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  21. Lynne

    You people make me laugh about crying about possible tax increases as your health care premiums continue to increase at 3xs the rate of income.

    July 13, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  22. Shawn - GA

    Do not forget that a national system will result in rationing. So if my Father is 69 and my Brother is 22 and they both have the same cancer in the same stage. My Father will not get the same care as my brother.

    I am not trying to be fearful I am being a realist. We need to be very very careful on the fine print of this plan.

    God Bless America, her people and her President

    July 13, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  23. Sniffit

    @ Fair is Fair, who asked "And why are no republicans being asked to attend (again)?"

    Because they are working on the Dems' PROPOSAL. The GOP is welcome to spend some time generating its own PROPOSAL...you know, if it can find some free time between press conferences and making commercials in an attempt to tear down whatever the Dems are suggesting. If they would do that (in a serious manner, not by disingenuously proposing tax cuts and "leave the market alone to fix itself"), THEN it would be time for negotiating some sort of middle-of-the-road legislation. Instead, the GOP spends it's time criticizing and fear-mongering and making silly been-there-done-that suggestions and giving nobody any reason to think that time spent at the table with them would be productive (in fact, every reason to believe that it would be counterproductive). It's all part of the plan. They will vote no against whatever it is anyway no matter what and by creating a situation where they are justifiably excluded, they get to whine about it.

    July 13, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  24. Enough

    What's with the idiots on this board who think the rich don't pay taxes and have been given huge breaks over the years? The so called rich have always paid a higher percentage in taxes than anyone else. What about the huge percentage of Americans that pay NO income taxes at all. Why can't they start paying their fair share? It's not the rich peoples fault for the choices other people have made. Punish those who work hard to get ahead and reward those who choose to be so called poor and on welfare................yes it is their choice. Nobody in this country has to be poor, we all have the same opportunities in life and they don't all require a college degree................just hard work, and that is where the problem is, nobody wants to work hard anymore.

    July 13, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  25. Shawn - GA

    to Jefe:

    I agree 10000% that these commercials are not proper.

    July 13, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
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