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. Willy Brown

    So is Obummer going to blame Bush when her gets voted out in 2012? I guess Hillary was right after all, It does take a village.

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

    Good move on Obama's part. The GOP needs to explain clearly why they don't support Health Insurance reform, beside the talking points of "big govt" and "out of control spending".

    A public option would certainly go a long way toward leveling the health insurance playing field. So why not do it?

    July 25, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  3. Bobby Lentz

    Obama knows this has to be passed now because the closer it gets to the mid-term elections the less likely it is that it will ever get a vote. Dems know full well that once the costs of the thing is understood by the voters....they will not support it. I bet they are seeing that political cliff approaching.....just like it did for Bill Clinton. Wanna really cook the Dem goose? Try a little more gun control too.

    July 25, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  4. jc smoots in tulsa

    the pres. asked how 'his waterloo' could possibly be to the benefit to the people. Me too. I thought the same when I heard the oh so stupid statement from whatever GOP idiot made it. The GOP's bitter attacks have done nothing but hurt Americans since the election. I don't care how much you disagree, ignoring your constituents and purposely causing trouble constantly is tantamount to treason. I know extremists say that a lot but when you're lining your pockets while hurting the country and your only concern (besides your pockets) is your party then I don't know what else to call it. Sooner or later the people are going to get sick of being screwed for the betterment of a few...

    July 25, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  5. Rasta Mon

    President Obama,you must rule the congress, if not the lobbyist surely will.

    July 25, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  6. Jetty

    Americans should look closely to the so called Blue Dog Democrats. Are coming from Red States area and fear of their opposition Obama presidency or they have been by the Special Interest Groups. We need heath care reform now and any politician who stand on its way should be punish at the ballot box in 2010.

    July 25, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  7. Denna

    Mr. President, your detractors won't explain themselves because their explanations will be insufficient. They are either Limbaugh Dummyheads, Insurance Company Shills, or the morons who still can't believe you are the boss. The rest of us would like to see and hear what you have in mind. While I have excellent insurance, I am not adverse to paying a few dollars more so that someone not in my position will be left to die for lack of insurance. In fact, for all of the people who don't want rationed health care, just get really sick and you will see that you already have it. If your insurance company 'suggests' that you use a generic drug, you are already in the grips of rationed healthcare. Get a clue.

    July 25, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  8. jeff

    They appose it because it is a lousy plan.
    Can the president and the demicrats or republicans guarantee either of their plans will work.
    They are all crap ideas and if they had to bet their lives on it they would all resign.
    Take away ALL elected officials health care benifits until they come up with a plan that works, saves money, and covers everyone. After they come up with a plan that works Then let the elected officials have only the base minimum coverage allowed under tthis new plan

    July 25, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  9. DJ in the Silicon Forest

    If this passes, it is just Phase 1 of "Soylent Green" for the elderly. For those who don't know what it is, just Google Soylent Green and rent the movie...Can't wait till the 24/7 Government Assisted Suicide Clinics are going full throttle!

    July 25, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  10. Dan

    Two things
    1. Mr President, welcome to the nightmare you created when opposing quality Social Secutiry reform where you and the other Dems put politics ahead of reform.
    2. The main difference here is that there is a legitimate reason to stop Gov't run Health Care. In fact, I can name three Medicare, Medicaid, Veteran's Health – all Gov't run, all overspending and underdelivering. Why would this be any different?

    July 25, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  11. Dan

    1. Mr President, welcome to the nightmare you created when opposing quality Social Secutiry reform where you and the other Dems put politics ahead of reform.
    2. The main difference here is that there is a legitimate reason to stop Gov't run Health Care. In fact, I can name three Medicare, Medicaid, Veteran's Health – all Gov't run, all overspending and underdelivering. Why would this be any different?

    July 25, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  12. Jon Krieger

    They have explained themselves!He just doesn't want to listen!More of that famous "Bipartansanship" baloney he was spreading all over the place as a candidate!

    July 25, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  13. dorothy oliver

    How many of your U.S. Representatives and Senators hold shares in the pot of gold we call our health care system? Probably too many. It is the only thing in town rolling in money, so why not? How much will they forfeit if they vote for reform? The health care industry is a bubble that needs to have a pin stuck in it and let the hot air about losses out. I venture that no comprehensive study has been made of the revenue our health care system generates for its share holders. We have laws to prevent usury but leave it up to supply and demand to regulate health care costs. There isn't a nickle's worth of difference between provider premiums, so there is no where to run.

    July 25, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  14. Kimberly

    Its official, this country would be SOOOO much better off if the right wing LOON, racist, ignorant uneducated, inbred, uninformed, country hating, fear mongering MORONS would just drop off the face of the earth! I am SO sick of their vile hatred of this country and our president. The stuff they say is repulsive, and I have held my tounge long enough! PLEASE gop get a life, and a clue! Your NOT the majority, 59% NOT 49% like you keep posting, of this country love the president, support him and appreciate all the things he is doing. You hate this country, LEAVE!!!!

    July 25, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  15. Scott

    No one, republican or democrat, opposes health care reform. They oppose Obama's health care reform. Obama's "my way or the highway" attitude should be a disturbing one to the American people.

    July 25, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  16. jane

    I hope Pres. Obama is not showing the same lack of wisdom in promoting desperately needed health care reform that he has shown in his handling Gates' abusive ranting at an exemplary young police officer.

    July 25, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  17. r. d. torrence

    There are several types of health care plans: veterans, medicare, medicaid, private plans by employers, private plans for individuals and the uninsured. The problem is health care cost for over 30 years have risen at a rate exceeding inflation. The results: the uninsured and the over insured. Our uninsured are treated like third world countries. The over insured consume health care like hogs in the pig pen. The uninsured need insurance. The over insured need rationing. Rather than constructuring a simple plan our representatives make things complex. They attempt to hide rationing. They include non citizens in the plan. Abortion now becomes an issue. Here is a clue. Look to the veterans plan. Include yourselves in the plan.

    July 25, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  18. Bill Brown

    Ha ha.

    Didn't take too long did it?

    When it isn't done this fall, Obama will simply declare victory and move on. Or is victory as un-important in this debacle as in Afghanistan?

    July 25, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  19. Jerry in Florida

    I guess this guy likes to be super exposed. And of course, he does not know when to shut-up, or when to aplogize for that matter!

    It's either his way or no way at all. Temper, temper. And to think he accussed Senator McCain of being temperamental.

    For some reason, he likes to continue putting his big foot in his big mouth.

    Oh well! What else did you expect?!

    July 25, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  20. Rob

    the opportunity for the richest nation in the world to be able to have basic health care for it's citizens should not die from petty politics. being Canadian health care is a right and it is not rationed or are people allowed to die in line waiting for treatment. these are just scare tactics which is all the gop knows how to do . please don't forget that it was the gops so called ideas which placed your country in the dire straights it finds itself in. the gop do not have anything to offer in this debate and should just get out of the way or even support THEIR president with something that is long overdue in america.

    July 25, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  21. Steve

    Obama should realize the reason dem senators don't want to go along with his govermant ran health care that would destroy health care in america is that the people that vote for them have said enough is enough. He acks more like a bully that G W ever did getting mad and calling out senators in public because they do not back him and demanding that they pass his legislation by the end of the year he is not king of the USA but president, He needs to understand that he is not always correct and the american people are tired of his turning our country into a govermant owned and control state.

    July 25, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  22. kamenwati

    The Republican and Democratic opponents of health care reform are content to continue to receive their health coverage at the public's expense while playing politics with this vital issue. While campaign contributions from lobbyists for the insurance industry fill their campaign coffers, American die each day from the lack of health care coverage. Citizens need to clean house and replace the naysayers. Whether they are red rat republicans or blue dog democrats let's vote these obstructionists out. The American people deserve the same health coverage as the elected officials who purportedly work for us.

    July 25, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  23. Linda from Minnesota

    He is so right on about this. The republicans are trying to stop him, his administration from anything he is trying to do and in 2010 they will have to explain themselves to the voters. He said it best the other night, this is not about him but the American people who do not have health insurance. Shame on the politicians who do not want to work for the betterment of the American people and that includes both sides – repubs and dems. For the repubs,its all about the power and getting back into the white house – to hell with Americans who are struggling.

    July 25, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  24. Larry of Boston

    Obama is wrong; it nothing happens in Washington, then we will save trillions is deficit spending; hundreds of billions more in pork spending. we will not aggrvate anyone into a war. We will not create unfair legislation. Doing nothing in Dc may not be a bad thing

    July 25, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  25. Lee in Oregon

    President Obama gave a very clear message this morning on the urgency of having healthcare reform especially for small businesses.

    For those who still feel that the government will take over your health insurance need to listen and listen very carefully to what our President is saying. It is NOT a take over but will give the American people CHOICES and will ultimately LOWER premiums and deductibles for ALL of us.

    It does not take a rocket scientist to understand that this will benefit everyone. So do not believe those who distort the truth about reform. It is in the best interest of all that our broken healthcare system be fixed.

    July 25, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
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