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. Jasaah

    Mr. President, don't worry because the American people that elected you are behind you to the end of this health care fight. The GOP's are waisting their time because we know their past games and continue to think that the American people are stupid just the way they lied and confused the people about the war that took away American lives for no tangible reason but to steal the iraqis oil and pocket the money for the party and families. They are receiving money from these criminal that call themselves INSURANCE COMPANIES around the country is nothing but a bunch of devils and evils. GOP's, you guys are done no matter what you can do It's over until the next generation can come in the year 3000.

    July 25, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  2. Marty, FL

    Pres. Obama is right. The distracters have made their deplorable intentions clear from Castellano's talking-point memo, Sen. DeMint's Waterloo nonsense, and Rep. Blunt's unwillingness to offer ANY "solutions." Shame on you!

    These Republicans are playing games while many individuals and small businesses are sufferring under a broken system. Our country needs these health-care reforms passed for the American people.

    July 25, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  3. 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 Pugs are 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 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  4. We need to take em out!

    We need a revolution in this country to get rid of all the greed and hypocrits on the right! Banish all of them to South Carolina with the rest of the slack jawed yokels! I hate the people from the south! Forget North Korea lets nuke the south! The people down there are actually more dangerous to us because they stand in the way of progress and are too uneducated and backwards to know what is in their best interest!

    July 25, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  5. Bpin

    They will. Obama really needs to explain himself. How he can get before the American people and say that a trillion dollar health care plan will not add to our already mounting debt? Yes, Bush left a horrible mess. He was horrible, and we understand that. But Bush is gone now. Future deby is your debt Mr. President, and although all the nation;s brightest economists have tried to tell you that spending loads of money will not get you out of debt, you refuse to take their advice. Until you show some kink of success, even the smallest amount,by spending trillions of dollars borrowed from our owners, the Chineese, you are going to have detractors. Especially DEMOCRATS.

    July 25, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  6. Jasaah

    GOP's had been exploiting the American People for over 200 years thruogh these criminals call INSURANCE COMPANIES. We need a public option and this is the best way to avoid these others indirect criminals that call themselves (GOP) SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVES.

    July 25, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  7. jUD

    Who needs 60 votes, get it done the bush way..50 plus 1

    July 25, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  8. Mike+

    Reform of some type needs to be done, but a bad plan can actually be worse than no plan. About 15 percent of Americans (45 million of 305 million) have no insurance so we are going to scrap what the other 85 percent have with a plan that looks like Medicare/Medicaid. Medicare/Medicaid are bankrupt and take up a large percentange of the budget. This needs to go back to the drawing board. This is not addressing healthcare – it's looking too much at insurance. Start with tort reform.

    July 25, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  9. Chenna Benna

    Can someone explain to me what the GOP plan is? Anybody? If the GOP was really passionate about getting this done, they would be holding up their plan against what the President wants and fighting to have their plan implemented. All I have seen from them is just 'No', we can't do the President's plan.

    July 25, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  10. bill

    hang in there mr president.the people are tired of same old worn out politics.we voted for change and your dem congress has the votes to do it.or they will answer to us.

    July 25, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  11. Binky

    Any employed citizen can have health insurance coverage, whether through their employer or by purchasing it on their own. The unemployed and unemployable can have free Medicaid. The catch is: what does the health insurance COVER?

    Obama wants to push through this health care coverage bill that will give medical insurance for "everybody". Like Food Stamps, it will only cover the barest necessities. And only up to the barest limit. And you will have to get in line to wait weeks and months to even get an appointment. And then it will be with a substandard medical facility and practitioner.

    Wake up, America.

    July 25, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  12. DS

    I do not understand the opposition either. Small business owners are going to gain, everyone will have an additional option to private healthcare, competition breeds excellence (isn't it what the GOP has been saying all along). The medical professionals are on board. The only people against these are the insurance companies (the poorly run private insurers will lose). However, the well run unsurers will gain from the Obama plan as everyone needs to be insured. I believe GOP has lost its brains ( or maybe they just do not have any left). The self proclaimed blue dogs are turning out to be nothing but barking dogs not sure what is going on.

    July 25, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  13. rev

    Republicans are only interested in playing political games and saying "No" to anything Obama and the Democrats propose. They've stated that they're only interested in stopping any of his ideas. This is not only petulant and non-productive, it borders on traitorous, considering that their party is responsible for turning a $200 Billion surplus into a $10 Trillion debt, starting a false war, promoting corruption and cronyism, passing one failed economic policy after another, and generally making life miserable for Americans.

    July 25, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  14. catmom

    Good for him. I sure would like to know what the problem is as well. It seems everyone agrees that health care reform is needed so why can't Democrats and Republicans work together to achieve that goal. Republicans have already told us that it would be Obama's Waterloo if he doesn't pass health care reform. I mean they have been very forth coming that they want this President to fail. Obviously they don't care if we ever get health care. Who I don't understand is the Democrats.

    July 25, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  15. lucy

    I think the Republican position is self-explanatory – they are under the illusion that we are not rationing health care, when in fact we are. We are wasting a huge percenetage of dollars in the last years, and sometimes days, of a person's life, rather than applying those same dollars to cost-effective preventive care. Surgery performed on my mother after an aortic aneurism may have gratified the doctor, but could never have helped my 88 year old mother. My father spent the night praying that his wife of 65 years would not wake up such a mess that she would never forgive him for allowing the surgery, and she certainly would have preferred to fund something else. The cost to the taxpayers (medicare) was over $300,000.

    July 25, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  16. Travis In Colorado

    I know CNN won't post this but I'll keep trying anyways.

    Obama challenges his own party to explain themselves, when Obama doesn't even have the guts to explain himself or apologize over saying police acted stupidly and sided with his "friend" right away without even knowing the facts? Obama, you amaze me more and more every day. You'll condemn an entire police force for doing their jobs and side with your black friend without knowing all the facts, and yet you want to sit down with terrorists who want to blow us up. Good plan. Oh, and your healthcare proposal sucks. Just thought you should know.

    July 25, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  17. Howard

    “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.

    Next we will be hearing about the "Right Wing Conspiracy" who is just out to "get" him.

    July 25, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  18. florida indep

    Let me see, the Republicans say the dem plan is a disaster in the making. Question, what part of irresponsible, mismanagement of the economy don't the Republicans understand? The current health care system is broken and has been for decades. Health reform is desparately needed in this country. I donot like what I have heard of the Democrat plan but the Republicans offer only SOS and do not seem inclined to work with the Democrats on this issue and the Democrats are bound and determined not to listen to any ideas brought forth by the Republicans. Can't you knotheads work together for a change and do something that is good for the American People and not just for your greedy party members. You people are why I'm an independent and do not trust you.

    July 25, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  19. Jason

    I feel like Obama is the only one with the people's interests in mind surrounded by a sea of corrupt politicians, democrat and republican alike. I personally am getting almost as fed up with Reid as I am fed up with the republicans.

    July 25, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  20. Joshua Smith

    The American people are behind Obama and his legislation. The reason the reform is being fought is because of lobbying by the Healthcare industry. I hope he pushes it past and uses his clout to bring it home, or else he will suffer the same defeat as those who oppose the bill for appeasing them. May all those putting the desires of Healthcare corps. ahead of the need of their own citizens suffer a slow and long fall from grace and all the earthly pains god can inflict on them.

    July 25, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  21. tonyt

    Great Job Mr. President, Keep working At It. Never Give Up the Fight!

    Great Accomplishments are never easy!

    Your living proof to that!

    July 25, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  22. WDM

    I wonder how much money the Republicans and the Blue Dogs are getting from the filthy health insurance industry to kill health care reform. In my opinion they are a disgrace.

    July 25, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  23. Ellie

    Democrats have always divided their own Party. This is just another fine example of what happens when Democrats bicker. Forward progress comes to a stand still and worse, Republicans are laughing all the way to the election booth. GET IT TOGETHER DEMS!!!!

    July 25, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  24. Jadie

    The Democratic Party better get it together, this flip flopping will get them next election.

    July 25, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  25. DJ in the Silicon Forest

    At the rate they are going, Bam-Bam and The 'Bots will become known as the "Masters of Disasters" by the time November 2, 2010 rolls around!

    July 25, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
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