July 25th, 2009
12:28 PM ET
9 years ago

Obama challenges reform detractors to explain themselves

WASHINGTON (CNN) – President Barack Obama is soldiering on - apparently unfazed by growing dissension within his own party’s ranks over health care reform.

Related: House Democrats splinter over health care

Despite increasing signs that Democrats in Congress will not meet the August 7 deadline originally imposed by Obama for passage of health care reform legislation, Obama is challenging his political opponents to explain their opposition to reforming the nation’s health care system.

“I know there are those who are urging us to delay reform,” Obama says in his weekly address out Saturday. “And some of them have actually admitted that this is a tactic designed to stop any reform at all. Some have even suggested that, regardless of its merits, health care reform should be stopped as a way to inflict political damage on my Administration. I’ll leave it to them to explain that to the American people.”

Related: GOP ratchets up health care reform debate

Obama uses the bulk of his address to make the case that small businesses will benefit from Democrats’ health care reform plan.

Related: Dems' plan 'a prescription for disaster,' GOP says

Citing a report by the White House Council of Economic Advisers that was also released Saturday, Obama says small businesses are paying up to 18 percent more than larger businesses do for the same health insurance plans.

These higher costs, says Obama, cause small business owners to be less likely to offer health insurance in the first place, to offer less generous plans, to cut benefits, to drop coverage, to cut jobs, or to close their doors altogether.

“This is unsustainable, it’s unacceptable, and it’s going to change when I sign health insurance reform into law,” the president says in Saturday’s address.

Earlier in the week, Obama appeared to set a new deadline for health care reform legislation.

“Let me just be clear,” Obama said at an Ohio town hall-style event dedicated to health care Thursday, “If there’s not a deadline in Washington, nothing happens -nothing ever happens.”

Responding to comments earlier in the day from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid that the Senate was not likely to vote on health care reform before the start of the congressional recess on August 7, Obama said “[t]hat’s okay. I just want people to keep on working. Just keep working.”

“And I want it done by the end of this year. I want it done by the fall,” the president added.

Filed under: Health care • Popular Posts • President Obama
soundoff (183 Responses)
  1. Rob

    Just throwing money blindly at something doesn't fix it either.

    July 25, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  2. Save America

    obama is a lying dog.Don't put words in others mouth or change their meaning around.
    obama really believes the people in this country are stupid.
    He really believes he is brillant.
    He is nothing more than a waste of breath and simply takes up space on this planet.

    July 25, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  3. annie for Palin

    I bet obama and henchmen led by pewlosi are doing everything but physical harm to their fellow demmies who have the nerve to question this very very UN-AMERICAN health bill. Who knows with chicago thug politicians they may even be threatening breaking knee caps.

    July 25, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  4. James

    As a Democrat who votes and donates am now at war with the so called Blue Dogs. These are the same fakes that supported the Bush policies that enabled us to get in this mess. Get out of our party.

    July 25, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  5. Phyllis

    Would someone please publish a list of these "Blue Dog Democrats?" I believe the American people should know who is being so bull headed that they might subvert efforts to reform our broken medical system. I would also like to see a list of monies received by all legislators from the pharmaceutical and insurance companies.

    July 25, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |

    How many ways can the Repulicans and Blue Dog Democrats give for not supporting Health Care Reform, without their plan for it? So far they have only been critical of President Obama's plan and now they say they will not present a plan because it will confuse the issure for the American people. Maybe their constituents will be confused but the mjority of Americans that I know are intelligent enought to process many plans. I agree with Obama, explain why you are against it and provide your plan. WE WON'T BE CONFUSED, BUT WE WILL BE SURPRISED. The American people need health care reform. How many Corporations now provide Health Care for their newly hired empolyees and how many have already cut their plans drastically, ie, Kodak.

    July 25, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  7. annie for Palin

    bo just pulls numbers out the air and expects the American taxpayer to go 'oh yeah that's right'. Well there maybe some stupid enough to fall for his plan to destroy the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA especially some of the ones who were stupid enough to vote for someone with no experience and no qualifications and led around by the nose by georgie porgie but the majority of Americans do NOT want government run banks, car mfg and especially their personal lives and health care!!!! Get over yourself obama you really are NOT God!!!

    July 25, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  8. JonDie

    The GOP has explained itself:

    Should the federal government reform the health care system to contain soaring, runaway costs and to insure more people?

    GOP response: No!

    July 25, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  9. Like...Professor.v.Police Officer

    A line was crossed by Pres Obama when he got involved in the racial
    profiling fray and guess; the result is, it back-fired and guess what Obama did to rectify the situation ? he called in the Press to explain and went on and on instead of a short appology and move on. Now we have a soap opera which will never end. So the lesson here is:

    "Making a mistake is half as bad as finding excuses for it" !

    July 25, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  10. Reformed Republican

    Americans can be so stupid! All they have to do is listen to rethugs to figure that out.
    Heres the facts people…
    No health care reform will guarantee run away health care costs that only the rich ($250K+) can afford.
    Businesses will no longer be able to afford paying for part of its employees health care insurance and the rest of us will lose health care coverage.
    Governments will have to increase taxes on EVERYONE to pay for the increased reliance on public assisted healt care. That means the rich pay twice with higher costs AND higher taxes and the rest of us get third-world level health care.
    So, what will it be America – improved access and health care for EVERYONE with contributions from ALL economic segments or just the health care for the rich while the country goes broke and we all die earlier – Your choice…

    July 25, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  11. Do the math

    I just got quoted $477.00 per month for a family of 4 with one tobacco user. It has a $5000 deductable and $35.00 co-pay for office visits.
    That comes to about $120.00 per week for a family of 4. that is about $16 a day.
    For me a tobacco user by myself I got a quote for $143 per month, $5000 deductable no copay after deductable. That is about $36.00 per week or about $5.00 per day. If I quit smoking 1 pack per day, I could have insurance.
    Sounds like a matter of priorities.
    I can get insurance if I take personal responsibility and make sacrificesand stop asking everyone else to make them for me.

    July 25, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  12. Simmy

    SOS Clinton's Blue Dogs are just as Republican as the 'official' GOPers.......If that healthcare doesn't pass with a viable public plan option, their constituents should kick them down the road like rusty cans...Since when has spending stopped Congress in the past? It didn't stop them with Reagan, and certainly not with Bush.....Truth be told, Blue Dogs can't come to terms with having a black president.....Same problem President Obama is having with Republicans is mirrored in puma Blue Dogs.....Such a shame and disservice to the middle class citizens of this great nation.....Don't start chanting how everything is always about race because it is.....The truth will make you free.....It's time to face these issues....When you do, God will fix the economy, healthcare, etc......

    July 25, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  13. RR

    Mr. President, people opposed to YOUR reform, are not necessarily opposed to ANY reform! There are other plans out there, so quit acting like it's your plan or the status quo and nothing else! It's a lie.

    July 25, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  14. Larry

    The Blue Dog Democrats are starting to look like Republicans. Criticism and interference with progress with no solutions.

    OK, Blue Dogs–What are your issues? And I'm looking for more than insurance companies contribute to your campaigns.

    July 25, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  15. worriedmom

    I think Obama is in his own dictator world. He says it is not about Politics but what would you call it? If he really is for the people then he would stop all this spending that he has burden our country with. Why not deal with the issues on insurance premiums, prescription medicine, cost of healthcare and stop this madness of having to overhaul the whole system and force eventually everyone to be on a Govt run health program. Also why doesn't Obama state that at least 13 million of these people who he says needs insurance all illegal immigrants. Guess why, because it is about politics and the Latino vote. Please Obama start talking straight with the American people and stop this madness that you and your bunch of thugs have in your mind to control our lives.

    July 25, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  16. Peoples Voice

    Don't stop at why you want to delay. Give us your alternative plans to what the president wants.

    July 25, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  17. mike

    And this coming from a President who hasn't even read his own bill.

    July 25, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  18. Jon

    I have a deadline, it's 2012. Get this Socialist out of Washington before the entire country collapses.

    July 25, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  19. minnie

    Everyone must vote no on this awful Obama/Kennedy health care plan. It must never never pass. We like our healthcare like it is.

    Our health care as it is now is the best of any country. Ask UK , Canada how horrible Universal health care is.

    Obama change bad for our nation.

    Doesn't Obama check out anything.?? What a goof ball.

    July 25, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  20. katiec

    I don't see how they can justify theirselves when the majority of them
    are putting campaign funding, personal gains and interests, big business over the welfare of the American people.
    Do not think they realize how obvious this is to the voters. Do not
    think they realize we will no longer accept or tolerate politics as
    This is not the final draft to health care reform, only the start.
    We cannot delay. Health care reform is vital to the American
    people and our country.

    July 25, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  21. J

    March on Obama! Most people who already have healthcare dont care. Human nature. They will when they lose it. You are elected to be one of those who can think selfless.

    July 25, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  22. Really!?

    There is not a provision in this bill that will lower anyone's health insurance or health care costs. That is the bottomline to most Americans. The 97% of Americans who are covered or who volutarily choose to not take coverage. (This number was released earlier this week by Congress). So what is the huge todo and astronomical cost coming from to cover the other 3%?

    The congressional budge office reports its findings that this "reform" will not save anyone $, and within 10 years costs will escalate faster than the current private system.

    This bill is all about government control of citizens.

    July 25, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  23. jj12345

    How about delaying it until maybe someone can figure out what is in the bill so we dont have a repeat of the stimulus disaster.

    July 25, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  24. Belle1

    As a Democrat, I am for healthcare reform. However, I am not for Health Care Take over by the government. The legislation in the House will create 31 new government agencies....Hmmm...Social Security and Medicare heading for bankruptcy, the US Postal Service heading for bankruptcy, we currently live in the nation with the best health care on this planet, and government is saying the system is broken?

    What is broken can be fixed. For example, actually investigating and preventing fraud would save taxpayers $60 Billion a year. If the banks can prevent fraud, what can't the government? They exempt themselves from joining the plan. THAT alone tells me it is not a good one.

    July 25, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  25. Butch Dillon

    To improve upon this challenge, the president should be naming those from whom he expects to hear. It would be refreshing to watch the likes of De Mint drool on his bib trying to explain what it is he would do to reform health care. It's time for them to stop mumbling in political sound bites and actually speak to the issues. And when they've proven they cannot the entire lot should be steam rolled.

    July 25, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
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