July 22nd, 2009
08:13 PM ET
5 years ago

Obama says opponents reducing health care reform to 'politics'

President Obama said Wednesday that his opponents were playing politics with health care reform.
President Obama said Wednesday that his opponents were playing politics with health care reform.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama on Wednesday chided opponents of his health care reform push for making the issue purely political.

"I understand how easy it is for this town to become consumed in the game of politics - to turn every issue into running tally of who's up and who's down," Obama told a nationally televised news conference.

"I've heard that one Republican strategist told his party that even though they may want to compromise, it's better politics to 'go for the kill.' Another Republican senator said that defeating health reform is about 'breaking' me," he continued.

"Let me be clear: This isn't about me," Obama said, noting that he and every member of Congress - including those trying to scuttle health care reform legislation - "have great health insurance."

Instead, he said, the debate is about people lacking health insurance


Filed under: Health care • President Obama
soundoff (75 Responses)
  1. Terry, TX

    Did anyone get any specific information from this debacle of a speech? He started it with a victory lap about saving the US from the brink of an economic disaster....no....his pork bills were a total failure. If Obama is a success....I want George Bush back.

    July 22, 2009 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  2. Jenn, Philadelphia

    I guess if he keeps beating that same drum that it's all the Republican's fault, his kool-aid drinkers won't notice some Democrats aren't on board either. At best he's being disingenuous. At worst, he's lying.

    July 22, 2009 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  3. 4 and the door

    Look who's making this about politics! On prime time TV! Squeeze every last drop out of this argument because it sure helps you avoid specifics about a plan that has no chance of working.

    July 22, 2009 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  4. FL

    Obama is the one making this about politics and not the real issue. The Democrats don't need Republican support to pass health reform. They have the majority in both houses of Congress, remember? The Democrats are split on the issue and that is the real problem, so instead of blaming the hold up on Republicans, Obama should work on getting a better plan that more people can support. Preferably one that doesn't bankrupt the country and actually fixes the problem.

    July 22, 2009 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  5. Scott, Tucson

    Obama forgets that he has a democratic majority and can easily sign this bill without one vote from any republicans so whats the problem? The smarter democrats realize this is a bad bill and wants nothing to do with it.

    Obama seems more worried about his presidential status than whats good for the American people.

    July 22, 2009 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  6. AndrewCPA

    If it is not about you Mr. President, then why are you telling Congress to pass this before they take their next break? If you are going to have a group of Drs. and other medical professionals look into and eliminate fraud and waste in Medicare, why not do that now as a bill on its own? If this is going to happen, I do not support it, I would rather it be done right and take the time to do it right.

    July 22, 2009 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  7. voter

    If congress believes that goverment backed healthcare is wrong, then they should drop their healthcare which is being paid for by taxpayers money.

    July 22, 2009 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  8. JonDie

    Insurance companies deny 47million of us coverage.

    Hospitals drive us to bankrupty with runaway inflation that far exceeds the overall inflation rate.

    If you lose your job, or change jobs, you potentially lose your health insurance.

    The Republican response: Quit whining, things are just fine. We don't need to do anything.

    I don't know what will work, but I know that we need to bring down costs and cover more people. Period.

    July 22, 2009 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  9. canmandu

    Why did Obama bother with the reporters being at the "press conference". The questions were canned and pre-selected. All he did was speechify for one solid hour. He is controlling the staged questions just like he controlled the "town hall meetings". This is not real. I would like to see some of the media break out of the worshipful mode and ambush him with some real questions.
    And any time someone says it is not about me;trust me, it is about them and only them

    July 22, 2009 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  10. OJFL

    I thought the hole point of super majorities in the House and Senate was that president Obama would not have to worry about the Republicans. If the reform is having trouble it is because of the Democrats. His anger and frustration seem to be misplaced.

    July 22, 2009 10:32 pm at 10:32 pm |
  11. OJFL

    Spelled correctly now.

    I thought the whole point of super majorities in the House and Senate was that president Obama would not have to worry about the Republicans. If the reform is having trouble it is because of the Democrats. His anger and frustration seem to be misplaced.

    July 22, 2009 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  12. katiec

    The republicans main agenda is to try and make the president fail,
    consequently our country and us.
    Will they ever do what they are elected to do and that is put country,
    people over their warped sense of politics?

    July 22, 2009 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  13. Obama is a Mistake

    He can't even explain what he wants. We're in big trouble.

    July 22, 2009 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  14. Doug

    As an Obama supporter, I disagree with him that he is Not the status quo. My how ridiculous this is as President of all of us. If it is only politics when you disagree with him now, he has already failed us. He needs to tell the truth or the credibility of this debate is over.

    July 22, 2009 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  15. Linda from Minnesota

    The republicans anger me. I am so glad we have President Obama in the white house. I can't imagine what healthcare reform would looke like under John McCain.

    July 22, 2009 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  16. No Hillary = No Obama

    Obama's arguments are not persuasive because they come off as self-serving – serving his grandiosity. I can't even watch him anymore.

    July 22, 2009 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  17. Neutralizer

    You're the one playing politics Obambi, your problem is NOT the GOP but members of your own party, In your conference with bloggers you've stated none of this is your fault, once again you BLAME Bush. This is YOUR ECONOMY Obama, OWN UP TO IT! Stop passing the buck. From the time you were sworn in, OVER 2 million Americans have lost their JOB. This is all about YOU, as you've said to your fellow democrats during two hours meeting in the Whitehouse; "This will ruin my Presidency." Your concern is for YOURSELF, NOT for the American people. So, stop selling your snake oil, we're not buying it anymore.

    July 22, 2009 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  18. JDB

    Obama's right. To the republicans, this is a political game to get or hurt Obama – it's not about health care and doing what's right for the people and the country. It's just a means of scoring political points.

    There are very few republicans constructively working – or even showing much serious interest in the issue. They're spewing talking points. This is about finding solutions, not scoring political points. In my opinion, the majority of the republicans just refuse to come to the adults table and do the job they were sent to do. Many republican recommended ammendments have been accepted in the formation of the bill – but so few are really taking constructive rolls. Enough complaints. We're looking for solutions.

    July 22, 2009 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  19. Zaley

    Oh how true, Republicans game out early and strong against anything that would help our economy recover. They are the party that objects to anything and everything that doesn't line their pockets.

    July 22, 2009 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  20. Keith in Austin

    HE'S the one making this a political issue! He attacked the GOP when his own party is the reason that it has bombed! He did do a great job with the teleprompter during his opening comments though!

    July 22, 2009 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  21. Health care reform is on the down

    it will not survive, it has turned into attacks

    July 22, 2009 11:34 pm at 11:34 pm |
  22. Jay

    Mr Pesident you are playing politics with this issue as well. You have a bill that you haven't written, you haven't read, that spends up to a trillion, and is being ran up for a vote faster than a NASCAR. All this to pass something that makes your administration look like it's doing 'Something' Stop thinking the Dems have all the answers and listen to the American people who want responsible bills passed for a change. Not just Something or anything.

    July 22, 2009 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  23. dan, MI

    Mr. President, I am not interested in your rationing of Health care. I was listening to you very attentively this evening but you are not straight forward with American people. We know that you are hiding something under your sleeves as you did for stimulus money. There is no effect on the private economy. You may be expanding your Government and your Czars but it shows your ignorance and lack of experience. As a result you cannot and you will not get it right. It is better if you wind up your job and go back to Chicago to salvage our country from bankruptcy.

    July 23, 2009 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  24. Hmmm....

    Hmmm.... sorry...this isn't about me and what it will do to my family now and down the road. So who is it about? Who has decided what we should have, what we owe, who is responsibal and who will pay and who will not? Sounds like there is not much about this that leaves me with personal choice. This is what we now call freedom. Here's the kicker, those on the side that thinks this will advance them...well...when the other side does arrest power back, they will use the same tactics against you. Sleep easily now because down the road w=you will wonder how this could happen to you.

    July 23, 2009 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  25. Alan

    If he is so convinced that the new plan would be good, then why doesn't he commit to signing his family up for it. Why not all of the dems is congress – Come on folks, put your money where your mouth is!!

    If it's good enough for me, then it's good enough for you!!

    July 23, 2009 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
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