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. Lauren

    The republicans who are stalling on health care reform can afford to do so, they all have health care.

    July 23, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  2. katiec

    The republicans have stooped to their lowest level. As usual, they are putting big business over the American people and continue on with their lies, scare tactics, irresponsible, unAmerican behavior.
    Do they ever acknowledge their ratings, their responsibilities??
    Will they ever understand the American people will no longer accept their politics as usual?? Will they ever admit they almost destroyed
    our country and us these last eight years?
    Will they ever do what they were elected to do and that is to truly
    represent the American people??

    July 23, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  3. Independent Again

    Yes POTUS keep up the lies!! If this was that great why are people in your own party against it??? CBO was setup by Dems to evaluate the real cost of legislation coming out of Congress on the economy

    CBO said this bill would not make HC affordable infact cost will rise. Obama says the we are going bring the cost of HC down. CBO also said this will affect the deficit. Obama says the bill will not add to the deficit.
    Studies shows that over 100 million insurers will loose their current coverage and be forced onto the public plan. Obama says if u like your insurance you can keep it.

    Really?

    July 23, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  4. Nini

    I thought you are a different kind of politician Mr. Obama.

    What happened? Why don’t you go after Democrats that are standing on your way?

    You have the MAJORITY on both houses STOP lying Obama.

    Is this the change you people voted for, or you were just very well FOOOOOOOLED.

    July 23, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  5. EDR

    Now all of a sudden it's "Health Insurance Reform" instead of "Health Care Reform"? What's up with changing the names of things so often?

    I don't think a single Representative, Senator, or American citizen has stated that they are "against" health care reform. What opponents are against is ramming it through congress without reading the plan (which even Obama admits he has not), or fully understanding the details of the plan.

    There is "bipartisan opposition" to the plan, it is not a "Republican" obstacle. Many Dems are concerned about the way this is being handled!

    July 23, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  6. RDS

    Some of you just don't get it. He might not need votes from the Republicans but a least they could use some of their ideas if they are good. But the republicans are so busy bashing the democrats plan (which nobody knows what it is yet) they won't even put out what they feel would work better to cut cost. It's not like he hasn't been open to using republican ideas. My thing is don't complain and grip everyday like the sky is falling and then don't offer any way to fix the solution.

    July 23, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  7. phoenix86

    Moderate democrat and other lapdogs:

    Independent analysis of the proposed plan indicate that it a) won't solve the problem; b) doesn't decrease costs; and c) adds to the deficit.

    Why do you insist on doing something? Committing suicide also reduces your health care costs and that's "doing something". Why don't you try that and let the grownups try and find a solution that works?

    July 23, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  8. Kylee

    When our Senators and Congressmen all get back from their 4 week vacations, the only thing they're going to be interested in is their re-election process. Heathcare Reform is down the tubes.....

    July 23, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  9. Mark

    Why does he blame the republicans, they don't have enough votes to block this bill. Why doesn't he blame the democrats who are holding up the bill?

    July 23, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  10. Angie in Pa

    Thats right President Obama enlighten the Voters with the truth about the Republicans it wouldnt Hurt to expose thos Blue Dogs that call themselves Democrats keep up the Good work President Obama

    July 23, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  11. Allison

    Republicans don't give a crap about the average American....only the lobbists who line their pockets.

    July 23, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    Throw the bums who don't favor health care insurance reform out!

    July 23, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  13. Mike in LR

    The GOP is not opposed to reform as BO says politically. They, and most americans, are opposed to this particular reform measure. He is determined to have government run healthcare. But most americans do no want that. BO should be open to other ideas as he says he is. Just another falsehood from the chief liar.

    July 23, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  14. Four and The Door

    This is an unwarranted attack on the Republicans to try and move this into Obama's favorite realm...politics.

    Even if it was true it's better than congress doing it's best to lose a war ( i.e...."Iraq is unwinnable! Pull Out!" ) just to take a stab at President Bush. That was politics at it's worst.

    July 23, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  15. Eddie

    Can anyone please tell me WHY the Dems and Osamba are running a new ad bashing Conservatives/Republicans for "destroying his presidency"???
    Last count I had there were more than enough Dems in both houses to pass any bill they want! Oops ! I forgot, there are those "conservative" Democrats who are acting....well....conservative.
    Really....Obama is a joke, by-the-way, how's that "change & hope" working for YOU????

    July 23, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  16. Mike in MN

    Brilliant. The Republicans do not have the votes to delay or stop health care reform. So blame them anyway. The Dems are split on this and the one's opposed are center right Blue Dog Democrats. Just like the center right campaign Obama ran to hide that he is a far left liberal. If Obama was really a centerist, he would be taking the side of the Blue dogs and moderate Republicans and standing up to Pelosi's liberal version of health care reform. But Obama is not a centerist, he is a far left lib. So the Dems are split, and Obama blames the Republicans who have no power. The public is not as stupid as Obama thinks. His approval rating gets lower by the day because America is center right and he is way out in left field.

    July 23, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  17. Jaxson

    It's only a matter of time until no one will beable to afford heathcare.
    Medical cost are rising and rising, with no end in sight.
    Today it's the poor, tomorrow it will be the others.

    July 23, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  18. Susan

    Republican "fear" wins again.

    July 23, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  19. Sniffit

    @ rob, who said "What the Republicans say or do doesn't make any difference at all!!!!!"

    Two quick points:

    1. Actually, if you had paid any attention to the news conference, you 'd have heard that it very much does matter. They've added 160 amendments proposed by Republicans. Obama commended people like Snowe for her contributions (and of course, I know, that makes her a traitor in your mind). And, in particular, he pointed out that the MediPac idea was from the Republicans and that it received praise from the Mayo Clinic.

    2. If you start from the premise that people only vote along party lines...because that's the way you yourself think about the issues...then you'll never get it right. If this passes, it will pass with several Blue Dogs voting against it and several Republicans supporting it.

    July 23, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  20. Donna from Colorado Springs

    Republicans have scared enough of those "Ble dog dems" to fight Obama on his healthcare reform, and it's a shame that ANYONE PAYS ANY ATTENTION TO REPUBLICANS! They want no part of any program that helps people in this country and all they do is whine and complain about EVERYTHING! If their medical coverage was completely taken from them and they had no coverage that they could afford, you bet they'd be lining up to pass this reform bill!

    July 23, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  21. John

    It's amazing how stupid the Party of No and its minions believe Americans to be. Conservatives are narrow-minded, greedy and shallow, have not an altruistic bone in their bodies and are racists, homophobes and mean-spirited. They support the corporatists and the facists and are selfish to a person. They don't care that poor people doen't have and can't afford insurance and their operate of the illusion that our health care system provides the best care available in the world. As a result of the repukelican's reign of terror during the bush years, our healthcare is somewhere down the list now below 15th best in the world. Their hatred of the president is disgusting, immoral and treasonous. They are NOT the loyal opposition as they claim, but are disloyal obstructionists bordering on terrorists. Be done with them!

    July 23, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  22. Capt. Snarky

    Does he have a plan? A concrete plan that spells out exacty how and where his cost reductions are? What is in place to keep the burueacracy honest? Is it a true and fair plan that benefits everyone without screwing someone out of their current coverage. Has he actually read this plan??????

    July 23, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  23. Dean

    It appears that when you oppose Obama even if you actually think his program would be wrong for America, you are accused of playing politics or being a racist.

    July 23, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  24. Pat F

    Chicago political rule #1: When you have no facts to defend your position, call your opponents names.

    The Reality: Barry is flailing wildly, Pelosi has him dancing like a puppet on a string, and Americans have ended their blind faith in the Obamessiah not a moment too soon.

    July 23, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  25. Independent Again

    Want to know just how great your Obama Healthcare will be?

    Go to the southside of Chicago and talk to the folks there. They will tell you the fact that University of Chicago Hospital instituted a "patient dumping" scheme. It was reported to be the idea of non other that Michelle Obama. The market it as something esle, got the community to sanction it. Now they are saying they cannot go there because the Univ. of Chicago Hospital turn them away if they have no insurance and send to nearby clinics.

    One mother reported on National TV that her son got mauled by a pit-bull and because they did not have insurance, he was sent to the clinic by the Univ. of Chicago Hospital saying his injuries were not life-threatening. The boy needed surgery. The clinic sent him home with pain pills. She drove further away to another hospital. Her boy was immediately taken to surgery.

    That is the type of healtcare you will get fr the Obamas! You want it? You deserve it. And ask yourself this. Why is Congress & WH exempt fr this public options?

    July 23, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
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