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. Asian4Hillary

    Why is it Obama is blaming the GOP when his OWN party is the supermajority? Should we call Obama now DODGER-IN-CHIEF? His own party is deeply divided and yet he turn around and blame the GOP. Own up to it Obama. Stop passing the buck. The problem of Obama his lies is catching up with him, he cannot stand it number of people worshipping him is decreasing every ticking of the clock. Geez! I hope tomorrow is 2012. I AM OBAMAFIED!

    July 25, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  2. Mark from Louisiana

    This bill will affect every American and it shouldn't be pushed through like obama is trying to do. He promised transparency and we have none. He promised in his campaign that the meetings on health care would be on C-Span so we all could watch. They are not.
    His ratings are dropping because people are realizing that he's just another politician that you can't trust, not the hope and change guy people voted for.

    July 25, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  3. Asian4Hillary

    If there's someone who has a LOT of explaining to do, it is Obama. This is all about HIM, it has NOTHING to do with the American people, he's an ego tripper, a narcissist. As he said; "you're ruining my Presidency," he didn't talk about the American people with his close door meeting at the Whitehouse with other Democrats.

    This is a long 4 years, he's only over 6 months in office but it feels like ETERNITY. Obama is like a bad nightmare that doesn't go away, every time you open your eyes, he's there with his teleprompter. Can we evict this man out of the Whitehouse? He's totally exhausting to watch and listen every time he open his mouth. I thought GWB was bad, for the life of me, Obama top him on that.

    July 25, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  4. joe m

    The president has gone back to the same old partisan politics. He has chosen to blame his opponents, with clear indications that they are reps, for his own failure to explain the plan better to the public. Sad but this is the same old politics.

    July 25, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  5. sue

    Keep up the good work. The focus on small business owners will be key to getting the job done by way of lower costs of all.

    July 25, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  6. frreddy

    Just a few words: Why does Obama want the detractors to explain themselves. At the end of it all he is only going to say what he said in a meeting at the white house, "We won, and that is it". Why do the detracotrs need to waste their breathe.

    July 25, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  7. tee

    The best President we ever had...........healthcare reform among other things will finally get done this year......THANK YOU MR. PRESIDENT FOR LOOKING OUT FOR ALL AMERICANS.

    July 25, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  8. elana

    President Obama is no "push-over"! The Republicans can try hard to take him down, but in the end they will NOT be successful! How unfortunate it is to be living in the best Country in the whole world, and have a "few idiots" continue to behave like a tree full of monkies in the jungle! What an embarrassment!

    July 25, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  9. The Constitutionalist

    Mr. President,

    I am more than happy to explain my opposition to "health care reform". My explanation is very simple. It's UNCONSTITUTIONAL!!!!!! Nowhere in the Constitution is anyone guaranteed health care, nor is the federal government granted the authority to provide it. If this is what so many Americans want, do it the right way. Have your party propose a Constitutional Amendment, get 2/3 of the House and Senate, and then have 3/4 of the states ratify it. Do that, and if I come out on the wrong side of the argument, I will shut my mouth and abide with the decision. Just do it the right way, PLEASE.

    Just a thought.

    July 25, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  10. yuri

    We know the reasons for the performances of these procrastinatin' politicians as to the healthcare reform bill. Quite a number of them are nefariously negativistic and narcissistic. Their egotistically enhanced manipulative megalomaniacal maladjustments in this matter is massively mind-boggling.

    July 25, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  11. Bill Douglas

    Boy you Americans sure know how to pick your leaders don't you??? And a lot of you thought Bush would wreck the country?
    Oh well, you can all vote this guy out next time around. Only 3 more years.

    July 25, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  12. Bonnie Kimberly

    I voted for the change I want to see health care reform now I want those in Washington to know I will not be the American to sit back and let them postpone this vital effort. I will remember they did this when our country was hurting the most and that it lies at thier feet to change or fold to the right wing effort to bring this President down. If you care for America and truley want a strong and healthy America please speak up please tell the media the bloggers the people we elected to do something now. These are educated people with the brains to make this work they do not have to sink to the polical low. Common sence should tell them we need this done and done well.

    July 25, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  13. No More Cheney

    Congress is corrupt and lazy.

    July 25, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  14. Brian

    That is how a real president behaves. This is how executives get things done.

    Congress is a pile of lazy, money-loving self-entitled snobs, doing everything for political and financial gain and little to benefit the population at large.

    It's refreshing to have a real leader for once.

    July 25, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  15. Dave

    This is likely to turn around and bite the Republican party in the butt. Too many people in this country would benefit from better health care, and too many employers would benefit from having a little of the burden taken off of them. Too many people want this, and the Republicans are seen as being a roadblock, and – worse – they offer no real ideas of their own. The GOP is likely to pay for their opposition at the ballot box... and with their party in the state it's in, they can hardly afford to do that now. But, whatever, it's their mistake to make. And it'll be just another in a long line of mistakes...

    July 25, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  16. Tae Jotah

    Is it really opposition to any kind of reform, or do so many members of Congress understand that it's an insane idea that the country can't afford and lots of people are against Mr. President? The President really seems to want to push for anything that will bankrupt this country as fast as he can. And before you say, "But the Iraq war was expensive", wars can be stopped quickly. Ever tried to stop a government entitlement plan? We've had Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Unemployment, Food Stamps, and a ton of other costly expenditures for decades now, and our debt has just gone up and up! If Obama gets his "Health Care Reform", there's only a couple ways to go: Bankruptcy for the nation with hyperinflation, or taxing the rich so hard they either leave or there is a civil war.

    July 25, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  17. Jack Carlson

    Indeed, this shows how dumb or a "non listener" Obama is. His own COB says costs are unsustainable, and Mayo Clinic said it is not the way to go. A child would understand you can't spend 1.5 Trillion Dollars to save money...we do not trust him anymore as it is obvious he fabricates much of the time.
    His goal is control and Power....he's narcissitic.
    In four years I hope we don't have to work so hard to clean up the mess he and his cohorts are making for Americans.
    Jack C

    July 25, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  18. daniel

    In this world you have to earn what you get, there is no free lunch. If you can not afford health care then so be it. Get an education, get a job and obtain health insurance. I am sick and tired of people wanting something for nothing. I worked hard for what I have and I want to keep it. Communist Obama want to change all this and ruin this country made great by hard working people who work and earn what they have.

    July 25, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  19. jen

    Keep pushing Mr President, everyone knows the party of 'NO' has nothing to offer – we are behind you 200%

    July 25, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  20. Hayden

    Let me be clear... everyone agrees that our healthcare system is in need of reform. However, putting a deadline two months out is not the way to do it. The stimulus was rammed through the Congress and wasted billions of dollars with little to no results. Should we allow the same for health care? Absolutely not. We need to work this out and not have our own Chavez lite dictate to us.

    July 25, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  21. Joan Rochester, NY

    Shame on the Party of No. They spend recklessly killing innocent people and refuse to support Health Care for our own people!! They can play by their defeatist "game book" ~ we will remember that!

    July 25, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  22. Jane Jones

    Do you wonder why he can't understand that 84% of Americans are happy w/their insurance.\
    His friends (such as Sustein) and their Senior Death Discount, his talk about hospice, the bill states buureaucrats would come to our house to talk to us about our health and end of life – those clowns makes me sick. I understand Acorn (criminal enterprise) will be some of the nuts trying to be a medical person. We no longer support Obama, we are an Independent now.
    Jane J

    July 25, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  23. Donna from Colorado Springs

    As the president knows full well, the Republicans and the blue dog Dems will drag their feet as long as they possibly can to defeat whatever he wants. It is the way of Washington, and it's always worked before. Let's hope that this president is a lot more stubborn than the men before him and that he doesn't give up and give them their way like the spoiled children they are acting like!

    July 25, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  24. Louise in CA

    Pathetic. That's how I think of politicians who would rather root around in the pork barrel than provide even elementary preventative health care to all Americans. How did we become so self-serving and short-sighted? How can we call ourselves a first world country when our basic needs are so trivialized, ignored, and used for political purposes? Health care. How hard does it have to be to get basic coverage? DUH!!!!

    July 25, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  25. Perusing-through

    The Blue Dog Democrats and the Republicans have NO real reason for opposing Health Reform, other than to support their insurance lobbyist who have the 'Dogs' and the 'Pugs' on a leash for campaign money. The Dogs and the are Pugs destroying the hopes of 45-million Americans without health coverage, and another 37-million under-insured; all for the gain of lobbyist campaign funds for their 2010 political races.

    July 25, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
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