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. Trade Freedom for Security, Lose Both

    If you want public health care, then get a job with the Government.

    July 13, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  2. mike,texas

    Easy solution Tax The Rich,Show me a rich person who went broke paying more taxes and I'll show you a liar.

    July 13, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  3. Henry Miller

    @annie s

    I've seen your comments before about how you're willing to pay more taxes for "comprehensive" health care.

    While I commend you for your altruism, I don't share it.

    If some mechanism were established whereby people could voluntarily contribute to some sort of program to provide health care for those who can't afford it, great. I might even contribute a bit to it myself–as long as it was voluntary. But trying to compel me to pay for your altruism isn't reasonable.

    July 13, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  4. Bill, Bloominton IL

    Why huddle? We all know our taxes are going up to cover this tax and spend administration. This bill alone will keep the economy in the tank for several years and the liberals will blame Bush for decades. hey Gi Joe: If it werent for those ads, those shows would not be on. Think about it.

    July 13, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |

    I"m not sure about one group of people paying the way of others. Even though they say their going to make the rich pay for this beware. I find that OBAMA has no concern for the middle class either. He said he gave you a tax cut ,but with cap and trade going full force. Which overall is just a tax hike on the middle class. Now one of things they want to do is tax the middle class by taxing our health care benfits. Please call your congressmen tell them this is unexceptable. I just wish this adminsration would be honest they say their on your side ,but every entitlement (tax) will effect the middle class the most.

    July 13, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  6. Bj

    It's interesting how the democrats continually are saying that the republicans don't provide any new ideas, so Obama doesn't invite any of them to any "secret meetings" to discuss health care. Now who is promoting partisanship??

    July 13, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  7. TCM

    @Lynne –

    I wonder if you'll be laughing when your take home is $1200-1500 less a year so that you can subsidize the entitlements of those Obama supporters who find it more lucrative to stay unemployed? I bet you'll be rolling on the floor then, huh? So, not only will you have to pay for their Obamacare, you'll be fined if you don't buy some for yourself! Hope and Change is here!

    July 13, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  8. dora

    I have no problem with government run healthcare, 'cause corporate (for profit ) run totally sucks. I already have an insurance parasite looking at my plan (which I can only afford because I get it through work) telling me I don't need Nexium for my heartburn, I can use something over the counter. Not a big deal you say (in comparison to some of the horror strories I've heard, you're right, but bear with me for just one more moment) the Nexium I was prescribed wasn't for heartburn, it was for acid reflux and it helps heal the esophagus before the lesions that were healing turn cancerous. So, instead of giving me what my doctor prescribed, and letting me heal, they now have a means to refuse any future treatment for esophagial cancer (get it, I now have a "pre-existing condition").

    July 13, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  9. TCM

    @Sniffit –

    Commericals? You mean like the ones sponsored by MOVE ON.org? or the DNC discrediting everything conservatives come up with...those commericals ? Or are simply just lost in Obamaland to the point where rational thought escapes you?

    July 13, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  10. Jean B

    Either the current democrats are dumb, or they simply don't care about rationing results. Aborting babies is okay w/them so I guess rationing and killing elderly is okay as well. Afterall it's easy to spend others money as well, and not pay taxes yourself ie Rangel, Geither, Gov MIssouri, Labor Sec, and 5-6 others who are hypocrites in Obama ADM.
    I'm poor, but understand the rich already pay 70% of taxes and appreciate that fact.
    This stupidity will reach a breaking point I'm afraid.
    Jean B

    July 13, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  11. Democrat's Motto

    Why work? the government will give it to me.

    July 13, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  12. Heres the deal

    It is not a FREE insurance. It is simply a public option. It is NOT WELFARE.

    And to all you "responsible" republicans saying "get a job get insurance" you are so wrong. We used to have insurance until my husband got laid off from building houses. He is now self employed – thanks to the outrageous insurance costs (OMG- an insurance co. greedy- go figure) we can't afford to pay private insurance rates for a family of four.

    It's a priviledge-lol

    July 13, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  13. TCM

    @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).

    Freedom isn't free either, and that's exactly what's going on in Washington; degradation of our free society under the guise of Hope and Change...and healthcare...

    July 13, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  14. Kevin B

    @TCM,--–What the GOP machine is failing to 'get' is that the annual cost of the present health system in out of control and doesn't benefit any american rich, middle or poor or businesses. It only benefits the insurance companies and big pharma.

    If you like what you have, keep it, but don't stand in the way of reforming so many americans have to choose literally in many cases, between health care and bankruptcy or food and medicine or no health care at all.

    That kind of choice is not cool in anyones book. The GOP is simply on the wrong side of this argument this time.

    July 13, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  15. Sharon Kitchen

    which taxes.....................the most wealthy tax elite.
    the most wealthy companies.
    the most wealthy wall street ceo's.
    the most wealthy ceo's.
    the haves...................not the have not's.

    July 13, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  16. tedious898

    I can't understand these petulant GOP posters on this blog. They spend everyday complaining about what our President is doing. It seems they are used to, and/or prefer the inactions of the past administration. They simply want the economy to implode so they can be happy.

    If any of you GOP / Republican twits were as vocal when Bush was spending money like a drunken sailor in Iraq; you might to be geniune in your complaints. The difference with Bush...he did nothing and we have a huge problem to fix. Obama is doing what he believes is best for the country ...and I might add....with much critcism and zero ideas from your famous "American Taliban party" known as the GOP

    July 13, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  17. stag

    For those of you who voted for "hope and change"-this is it.

    I'm rich. But thanks to the IRS and BHO, I have removed about $20,000 per year of chartable contributions. You poor folks can go wait in the soup lines-not another penny from me unless BHO steals it. Hmmmm, he will probably do that.

    Plus, I'm tired of seeing all the fat and lazy people at Wal-Mart.

    July 13, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  18. Mike Syracuse,NY

    @Kyle, Insurance companies get a better rate due to having enough policies to negotaite 'bulk' rates. When you buy a six pack of coke you spend one price per bottle, when you buy a case you get it for a lower price per bottle. This is economics 101, not some vast conspiracy. One of the prime reasons for high health care costs are unessasary tests ordered by doctors afraid of being sued for malpractice. So far the Obama plan hasn't attempted to limit legal lawsuits or malpractice awards. If they did, costs would drop like a rock.

    July 13, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  19. Kevin B

    Unfortunately the GOP congress members will only contribute to the debate only if it benefits the insurance companies and big pharma.

    That is why the are not included in some of these meetings, because they will use the forum to score some cheap, half baked political points instead of attending to the real issues.

    The GOP is simply on the wrong side of this issue this time and most Americans know it.

    July 13, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  20. Fort Lauderdale

    Tax increases = losses in Congress = losses in Governorships = loss of Presidency in 2012. Read my lips (or words, anyway).

    July 13, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  21. lynn in NM

    How will they pay for the health care???? Read my lips!!! LOTS of new taxes! Ante up, people.

    July 13, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  22. Debby

    Hey Typical Democrat the more money your make the more they take out in taxes. So tell me how the "so called rich" will be paying for health care by being taxed to death themselves? Who will pay their insurance when they can't afford it? What a stupid plan by Obama.

    July 13, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  23. Predicta

    Here's a health care alternative...leave my health care alone.

    July 13, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  24. Proud Member..Party of No

    President Pinnocio and his minions have no idea what they are doing and they best keep their grubby hands off my health care.

    July 13, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  25. Democrat's Motto

    Rob from the working, give to the lazy.

    July 13, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
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