July 23rd, 2009
03:15 PM ET
5 years ago

Obama rips GOP in health care forum

President Obama again Thursday accused top Republicans of playing politics with health care reform.
President Obama again Thursday accused top Republicans of playing politics with health care reform.

SHAKER HEIGHTS, Ohio (CNN) – President Barack Obama took his health care offensive on the road Thursday, ripping top Republicans for playing politics with his top domestic legislative priority.

"We have never been closer to achieving quality, affordable health care for all Americans," Obama said in a packed town hall meeting outside Cleveland, Ohio.

"But at the same time, there are those that would seek to delay and defeat reform. ... We had 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, the president said, had argued "that defeating health reform is about 'breaking' me - when it's really the American people who are being broken by rising health care costs and declining coverage."

The president also set his sights on Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele.

Steele, Obama said, is "seeking to stall our efforts" and "recently went so far as to say that health insurance reform was happening 'too soon.' ... I think that's a little odd. We've been talking about health reform since the days of Harry Truman."

Obama concluded that "reform may be coming too soon for some in Washington, but it's not soon enough for the American people."

Top Republican strategist Bill Kristol recently wrote on a conservative Web site that for the GOP "this is no time to pull punches. Go for the kill."

Last week, Republican Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina was quoted as telling the group Conservatives for Patients Rights, which opposes Obama's health care plan, that "if we're able to stop Obama on this, it will be his Waterloo. It will break him."


Filed under: Health care • President Obama • Republicans
soundoff (82 Responses)
  1. Moderate Democrat

    Health care Reform has been being sought for FIFTY years.
    It's not being rushed, it's LONG over due. Try another pathetic excuse to be lazy, republicans and bluedog dems. And for those of you who can't read 1000 pages in two days...boy, can you say "SLOW"! or is it just "LAZY". Either way, you are VERY lacking if you can't read 2000 pages in two days. (PS: It's been around for over 5 days now...so you kind of can't use that pathetic excuse either).

    July 23, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  2. Right Leaning Independent

    Really! I mean you have the numbers to pass any stupid proposal you bring forward. Your folks are rallying against you as well because it is another boondoggle program that we can not afford. Americans see through you and you are ripping the Republicans because you are thin skinned and can not stand to not get your way. It is equivalent to a childs temper tantrum! I believe that you should get used to being told NO in the future...

    July 23, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  3. Ron

    Good luck Mr. President !!!

    July 23, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  4. Angel

    I'd like to get my hands on these sorry republicans. My mother DIED at the age of 51 with cardiac specialists all over the hospital because she didn't have insurance. Now, as her children, we are left to grieve - but also to feel such guilt because we didn't have the money to save her. I'm sick of these selfish republican politicians. Let them see THEIR loved ones die with help all around them, knowing that if they just had the money or the insurance, those loved ones would live.

    July 23, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  5. Fred the Moderate

    Ok GOP, you have stall enough! Put forward a real plan and not the same old junk you have for years. We want real health care reform and we want it now! We give our money away to desert holes and won't take care of our own people. You're are a sad bunch.

    July 23, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  6. Brian

    What is pathetic is that he has an impressive majority of Democrats in the House and a fillibuster proof Senate. He needs ZERO votes from Republicans. If this can't get done he needs only to look in the mirror for someone to blame. The Moderates aren't going to blindly follow this Socialist.

    July 23, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  7. Larry

    Republicans will be voted out of their seats. It just amazes me how they ensure themselves of that every day.

    There is no America to Republicans, only their own selfish interests.

    July 23, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  8. dems own this

    in case you all forgot...

    there is nothing the republicans can do to stop the dems, THE DEMS OWN THIS WHOLE PILE OF CRAP, SO OBAMA, THIS IS A STRAW MAN, AND YOU NEED TO GROW A SET....

    July 23, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  9. beth

    Yeah, it's all about being in control for the Republicans. They haven't a care about what's best for this country.

    July 23, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  10. Shawn - GA

    I am even more worried now than I was before. I watched the news conference last night praying I would get some details so I could feel pro or con to this whole thing. Still however there was none, I did see the President dodge 3 times the questions of what pains will need to be bared and what types of services will not be approved…etc.

    I am scared to death of all the people on here and in the country who are so behind this, so pushing this, to the point of saying people are heartless and so forth for not wanting to push this… all the while have ZERO idea of the details.

    Thank God people in the President's party are slowing down a bit, you can not expect this to happen so quick. There is a lot of flaws to this plan, do this thing but do it correctly. Stop trying to hurry it.

    God Bless America, her people and her President.

    July 23, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  11. kishen c.rao

    because Republicans are acting so funny and they do not care for American people any more...they are being bribed by these big bigwigs...that's all.,,,,,,,,,It is the time to fix health care...pres.obama is 100 percent right...Yes, there are doctors do "swan gantz" for 320/ dollars from insurance companies...tell Rick Sanchez....a weird. guy...there are greedy doctors in practice...also...esply, from india..etc.., ok...don't be stupid...it is true...

    July 23, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  12. Judy

    President Obama, you are doing a wonderful job. People may say you are doing things too fast but after 8 years of Bush what can people expect. On the subject of medical reform, the doctors and the insurance companies are the problem. I go to a doctor & I pay $150 for 10 min visit! Outrageous! I say bring in medical form so we can all pay less to these medical giants

    July 23, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  13. Todd McJunkin

    The republicans are resorting to the same tactics they always employ when not in power. They had 12 years to do something and accomplished nothing. They offer no solutions and political attacks.

    July 23, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  14. Kevin in Ohio

    Obama...YOU played politics with Iraq. We won't forget that. To conservatives, this takeover of health care is every bit as dangerous and criminal as you perceived Iraq to be. Typical left-wing double-standard.

    July 23, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  15. carlos, the smarter

    kristol and demented (his buddy sanford) and all of the C-Street dwellers don't realize that they will benefit from the Health Care bill because it covers mental incapacitation, that's why the use of rectal thermometers has been banned by the NRA, Christian Right and all the other CONs......., they are affraid it will cause them permanent brain damage

    July 23, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  16. Joe in NJ

    Hey Obama, stop pretending that the majority of Americans are behind you on this. Insulting Republicans who you want on your side isn't going to help matters either.

    July 23, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  17. David from WI

    Did the GOP act 'stupidly'? Mr President?

    July 23, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  18. sonny chapman

    Yep, those Repubs. are really pure of thought. They do, however, extol their political views as fervently as any other religious sect in the world, including Radical Islamists and as assuredly infallible too.

    July 23, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  19. Polar Bears Against Palin

    The Republican motto should be, "Me, Me, Me!".

    July 23, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  20. Marie

    Don't worry President you tried but the ones who are committing themselves of not seeing this bill pass I hope will have the lives and ailing health on their hands of people who so desperately needs this reform and I wish them all damed to hell .These very politicians sit on free insurance and could care less about the ordinary americans who can't afford the insurance they have now or being turned down by the insurance companies because of pre-existing health....Shame on you republicans who oppose this bill and shame on you Harry Reid and your fellow lapdogs that we call democrats

    July 23, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  21. KLS

    Based on my own experience as a small business owner who has had to deal with yearly double digit increases in health care premiums the last several years, I do agree with a lot of what President Obama had to say. If my company didn't have to pay $1000/month for family coverage which is for basic health care, not any dental or vision plans, we could add more money to our employee's paychecks. If we didn't have a $6000 deductible on the policy to keep the rates low (yes this is the lowest we could get for our area!!) our employees would have more money to spend on other things.
    Why can't we all have similar coverage as our elected leaders? I don't want my taxes going to support Washington health care any longer!! They can't come together to help the average American to have affordable health care so why should they have first class coverage at my expense?

    July 23, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  22. Hugo

    If this guy really wanted to fix what is wrong with our system, he would demand tort law reforms and insurance reforms. End of Story, this is just another bunch of political BS to be done at the tax payers expense!

    July 23, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  23. Maverick

    You are young with a lot of energy.....I think, respectfully, that some in Gov are too old and have settled in too deep. Perhaps one day terms of service will be limited ....max of say 4 to 8 years.....? We need your aggressiveness and energy....weed out those that are not measuring up....some gov officials are not concerned about health care since we pay for theirs anyway....

    July 23, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  24. The Party of HELL NO!

    It's done. The administration of Barack Hussein Obama is now officially over.

    The congressional recess ends right as the 2010 election cycle ramps up. No one will vote for controvercial legislation in an election year.

    Recent poll numbers indicate socialism is not en vogue with the American voter. Translation: the socialists will lose and the conservatives will sweep 2010 a'la 1994, but more so.

    In 2010 with conservative control of congress, Obama is effectively a lame duck.

    Follow the timeline and you'll see that lame duck session starts with the Congressional August Recess.

    Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy.

    July 23, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  25. VGal

    Thank GOODNESS someone finally called out the do-NOTHING congress. I can't believe they are saying that we are RUSHING health care reform. SERIOUSLY? So, by 'rushing', do they mean 10 years???? I CLEARLY remember being a college student and Bill Clinton trying to get Health Care reform passed. Wow – DO NOTHING congress is SUCH A GREAT descriptor. The GOP is the most worthless of all of congress at this point. They aren't just the do-NOTHING congress, they are the "COMPLAIN, DO-NOTHING and make sure no one else does ANYTHING" congress.

    July 23, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
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