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. Brian- Palm Bay, FL

    Explain myself...how about this. The federal Government is a giant money pit that has never run anything effectively. We are broke, actually we are way past broke, we are broke and maxed out. Now you Mr. President want to spend 1 trillion dollars on a plan your own CBO says won't fix anything and will cost more money. That is a really bad idea

    July 25, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  2. james #1

    I'll tell you what a prescription for disaster is. Voting for people who don't serve the people. People who have blocked any kind of reform all these years. People who look to only serve themselves and the status quo. The lap dogs of the elite minority, who cry wolf and instill fear to protect their power and riches. The same people who have led us into war, economic disaster, climate crisis, and the myriad of other problems brought on by their criminal corruption. The time is now to end their reign thoroughly and completely. This is the message: Stand with us or stand down. Include everyone or find yourselves on the short end of the rope, looking at a long drop.

    July 25, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  3. stormerF

    You want lower health care and lower health care insurance,than TORT reform is the way. Adopt the Loser pays system and healthcare will immediately drop in cost...Why do Doctor's have to charge so much? frivolous law suits for stupid stuff,Like a woman sues her OB-GYN doctor because he put her on bed rest and she has stretch marks..We pay for that by higher doctor fees..... Why are the Democrats not talking about Tort Reform,to lower health care costs? What are they hiding?

    July 25, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  4. Rose

    I am all for Health care reform but it needs to be done right the first time, they need to slow down, what is the big hurry??


    July 25, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  5. dg

    obama needs to explain to america why he wants the health care bill that he or the dems have not even read passed so fast. he also said that everyone would have the same coverage than govt....it all full of lies....its all about the liberal control thing...hitler did the same thing...

    July 25, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  6. Larry S

    How can BO be so stupid. He asks for explanmation and he can not even provide the same. I can't remember a president that is as dumb as BO. What a shame to have someone in his position that can not be respected. The lies just continue and he has enoough of the unintelligent to follow him in his state of lies. What a shame that America has lost basic common sense.

    July 25, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  7. Ken in Gainesville

    1. If disorderly conduct were a crime, Senators Sessions, Coburn, DeMint, Inhofe, Representative Stearns and the rest of the Dixicrats would have been gone long ago.

    2. Try and get responsible health care, environmental protection, control of the greed on Wall Street, a return to the Rule of Law, an end of racketeering in the loan/mortgage industry, and any other host of critical needs...

    3. Republican response? No No No No No No No Never Never Never Never Whine Whine Whine. In 2010, they'll lose again.

    July 25, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  8. Asian4Hillary

    Out of a small ACORN, a MARXIST grow.

    July 25, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  9. A Real American

    You want an explanation?

    Try 1.4 million dollars a day spent by the health care and Big Pharma industries to lobby Congress to kill reform.

    There's your answer.

    By 2019, the average American family will be spending over $22,000 per year on health care. The insurance industry is booming as they rake in record profits on the backs of the American worker and the American businessman.

    Why can't reform be achieved? Follow the money.

    July 25, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  10. Reinstate Darwinism

    I want Reform. Not Nationalization of healthcare!

    Who once wrote a book launching a political career, was extremely charismatic, nationalized a ton of private businesses and was elected leader of his country?

    July 25, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  11. Peter

    Thats a statement from a great statesman! God bless President Obama!

    July 25, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  12. Free & Thinking in Las Vegas

    In about two years this man will be considered by many of the free, thinking, and open minded to be one of greatest presidents in American history.

    July 25, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  13. tonyt

    Never Give Up. on health care reform.

    Total Cost of Wars Since 2001
    $890,691,707,898 and counting,

    July 25, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  14. Kenny

    I don't think it's so much a matter of "delaying" reform, as Obama puts it, as it is a matter of preventing a half-cooked and half-thought out bill from being rammed through into law. The health care system didn't become a mess overnight, so why do we need to fix it overnight? Let's all take a step back and do something in moderation before we make things worse. If that means incremental reform, then so be it, but spending a few weeks coming up with one of the most important items of reform in decades is not prudent.

    July 25, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  15. red state Tenn

    This health care bill is based on having enough old people die without care. enough babys killed and an economy that sends two thirds of the illigals the illigals home so the gov will be able to pay for it.

    July 25, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  16. Blue dogs

    look up the term "Recission"

    its the term used in insurance contracts that give the insurance companies the ability to WITHOLD OR DENY treatment for any reason they can find.


    Presently our system is UnAmerican, in-humane and un-ethical. People die for insurance profits.

    Hippocrates is ashamed of how insurance racket has transformed medicine, for all the technological leaps, its crippled in ts intention of good........ its been commodified for profit, profit on sickness and death..........doesnt it bother you?

    Blue dogs, Repubs......Feh

    July 25, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  17. normajean

    The need for national health care has been a problem for more than thirty years and no administration has gone to the tremendous effort to finalize a plan. President Obama is struggling with opposition from all sides trying to correct this intolerable situation and all he is getting back are arguments and complaints.Maybe if the leaders of the opposing party had their guaranteed medical care taken away, they might {I doubt it} see a way to help instead of hinder.Get off his back and let him get the job done.And it won't happen tomorrow.

    July 25, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  18. JD

    Sorry, Mr. Obama...we don't answer to you when it comes to your neo-socialist nonsense. On the contrary, YOU answer to us.

    Keep that in mind, unless you want to start looking for a new place to live come January 2013.

    July 25, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  19. Dave

    Go Big O!

    July 25, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  20. Nan

    What Obama is trying to do is get everyone to tell him their healthcare issues, as he has not outlined any real answers; he wants people to give him some feedback so he can use their ideas to furher his socialist agenda.

    July 25, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  21. indy voter

    How in the world can those supposed "fiscal conservative" blue dog democrats justify calling health care "too expensive" when you look at their voting records in congress and they are all supporting big military projects like the F-22 fighter and the star wars missile system–and those projects are not being used at all and cost 100 times more than health care for americans.....????

    Why is it that the biggest opponents of any public health care plan are the ones listed in the fact check on lobbyists as the ones that ALL receive big bucks from the insurance and pharmaceutical lobby...???

    Want to keep our nation safe-then keep it healthy!!! 🙂 🙂

    July 25, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  22. Angus McDugan

    What a self-absorbed twit. He had the opertunity to explain himself to the nation the other night and failed to do so. Now he asks oponents to explain themselves. The wheels are comming off the Obama buss. Hang on for a wild ride down hill from here.

    July 25, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  23. T

    How about you get Social Security and Medicare fixed FIRST! That does not mean let illegals have at it, it means find a way to FIX IT from what you politicians have been doing to it for years! Then after the dust settles from that, take a good hard look at real reform, not just pulling stuff out of your dark crevices’ and calling that the plan while sticking it to those of us who prefer to be working.

    July 25, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  24. Stu-Florida

    Here's a one work explaination... MONEY.

    They don't want to see any changes b/c they're making too much money with the way it is. They don't care about America OR her citizens.

    If something isn't done about HC soon we'll all be looking for extra jobs to pay for it. Imagine having a second job just so you can offset the growing HC costs from your first job. Money earned not for a family vacation, or a down payment on a house, or college, or FOOD!
    Money for health care. Hang on to your shorts if this isn't resolved NOW!

    July 25, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  25. S M R

    Typical GOP hacks saying "NO" without a reason why. How can anyone " IN THEIR RIGHT MIND " support a party that cares more about greedy power than the Average American.

    July 25, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
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