August 21st, 2009
05:50 PM ET
5 years ago

Dems send out mixed messages on health care


WASHINGTON (CNN) –
As the sometimes contentious debate over how to overhaul America's health care system continues, Democrats in the House of Representatives appear to be sending out mixed messages over their commitment to the so-called public option. Just one day after Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi strongly endorsed a government-run plan to cover tens of millions of uninsured Americans, the number two Democrat in the House seemed a lot less definitive.

House Democratic Majority Leader Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland told reporters Friday on a conference call, "As I've said in the past, I'm for a public option but I'm also for passing a bill...but you know we'll have to see because there are many other aspects of the bill as well."

That's a lot less definitive than what Speaker Pelosi told reporters in San Francisco Thursday: "There's no way I can pass a bill in the House of Representatives without a public option."

After Hoyer's conference call, an aide told CNN the Majority Leader is in full agreement with the Speaker over the need for a public option, and that it will be hard to pass the House without one, but that he was acknowledging the reality that it will be hard to pass that in the Senate and therefore the Congress as a whole.


Filed under: Health care
soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. Chris

    Why don't we all quit the charade and admit it ..... all of this talk of Healthcare Reform is nothing more than another effort to GIVE another free ride to those African Americans who are on welfare and have no plan to work? It's way past time to STOP paying these people and tell them to get off of their rear ends and start repaying this country for all that they've done for them. Don't expect the American taxpayer to support them any longer.

    August 21, 2009 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  2. Enough

    That's because they don't know what they are doing. With Pelosi it's her way or the highway.............gotta love her attempts to be bipartisan...NOT! She must have numbed her brains as well as her face!!

    August 21, 2009 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  3. Kevin in Ohio

    They don't have a clue. They'll be gone on Jan 1,2011.

    August 21, 2009 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  4. Limbaugh is a liberal

    Bureaucracy? Health care rationing? Bureaucrats standing between you and your doctor? Your money used to pay for somebody else's abortyion? Guess what: that's what we have NOW! It's incredibly hypocritical to criticize government for ALLEGED plans while turning a complete blind eye to the private health insurance corporations committing exactly those crimes! Have you fact checked yourself? Do you even know what YOUR insurance company does? 30% of your fees go to bureaucracy. That's a larger percentage than most government run programs! And yes, your current health insurance company IS using your fees to pay for somebody else's abortion. So why don't you protest that?

    August 21, 2009 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  5. Voted4HealthCare

    The public option is supported by the majority of Americans. It is the key component for REAL health-care reform to create reasonable competition and extend affordable coverage in our country.

    There is no reason why every committee, House and Senate, so far has passed a bill with a public option, and the final Senate Finance Committee cannot do the same.

    Health-Care Reforms Now WITH a Public Option for Americans

    August 21, 2009 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  6. joe m

    forget the republicans and the supposed nazi-sign-totting townhall attendees. the democrats have problems within their ranks. americans are getting more concerns since there does not seem to be a consistent message coming from the party. worse yet, the message from the WH has even been more confusing. it is starting to appear that the democrats in the senate and congress don't have a cohesive plan and the WH has NO plan at all. failure of this bill will be squarely rest on democrats.

    August 21, 2009 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  7. ran

    People demand a single payer non-profit universal health care plan.

    I just received a refund from my utility co-op. It could just as easily been from a non-profit insurance company if I had that option.

    In a non-profit your money goes toward your health not toward multimillion $ salaries/bonuses for executives or dividends for shareholders, hoping to make money off your health, or for insurance companies' private jets. No! Your money goes toward your health or gets return back to you; just like the money I got back from my utility co-op.

    This is the facts not the run around you are getting from the GOP.

    August 21, 2009 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  8. Bill in California

    Peering over the long drop from the cliffs above and viewing the sea crashing over the sharp rocks, the lemmings begin to wonder amongst themselves if following each other's tails was such a good idea after all.

    August 21, 2009 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  9. Alfred E. Neumann

    Better hurry, Ted doesn't have all day you know.

    The fact is that Roland Martin said it right – there is no unity amongs Democrats and that is why meaningful health care reform will not take place, now or ever.

    They care not about the uninsured or the high cost that health care is taking on society.

    No, they only care about being re-elected.

    The "big tent" slogan is just that – what a waste they all are!

    August 21, 2009 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  10. Larry

    Lets keep this simple ...

    Just give the American people the same health care that the American people give to our elected officials, even when those elected officials don't properly do their jobs ...

    ... which has been for as many years as this American can remember

    It's about time WE THE PEOPLE hold our elected officials responsible for the jobs that WE THE PEOPLE pay them for ... properly taking care of America and it's people ... enough of the free ride for these bums !!!

    August 21, 2009 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  11. 60's survivor

    public option is necessary. no mixed message there. put that in your pipe and smoke it.

    August 21, 2009 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  12. annie s

    The reason health reform has lost support from the American public can be laid at the feet of the Blue Dog Democrats. The failure of the majority party to reach a consensus, and the moronic and fear mongering comments of Blue Dogs like Rep. Ross, have eroded public confidence. They should not only be ashamed of themselves for pandering to the special interests, they should be voted out of office.

    August 21, 2009 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  13. Donald. Cameron, NC

    DEMOCRATS need to get their act together and on the same sheet of music.

    The Democrats were put in charge to effect change in Washington, particularly universal health care - with a public option.

    Plan and simple - GET IT DONE IMMEDIATELY!!
    Cut out your bipartisan BS side-stepping with the Republicans. If I were in charge I'ld thrown them all out of the room and write the legislation without them. Its apparent they'll vote for nothing, while stalling any legitimate reform. Put them in the minority with no input if that's what they want.

    If the Democrats don't do what they were elected then the hell with them as well!!! They will pay dearly and that includes Obama.

    August 21, 2009 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  14. Reformed Republican

    Dems can go along ways towards getting health care reform and the public option passed.

    Time to read the Blue Dogs the riot act – Support the public option and health care reform or stop being bedwetters and "cowboy up" by having the kahones to outright admit that they are actually backdoor tee baggin' rethuglicants...

    August 21, 2009 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  15. LK..just wondering...

    You tell em Nancy! How can we deny all of our citizens something as basic as healthcare??? We all deserve proper healthcare (THAT WE CAN AFFORD!!!) no matter what ? I mean what is the question here? Does the RIGHT say we don't deserve that??? Is that their real message??? Well if so then that is pretty dang sad.. the day we stop caring about each other as fellow Americans then that is a sad day!

    August 21, 2009 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  16. Obama-mania

    Dear Dems in congress
    Going about this in a "every man for himself" style is not going to help any of you. It just makes you each look trivial. Get it together as a team or lose my vote in 2010.

    August 21, 2009 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  17. diridi

    I don't care what they send, bottom line, they need to fix health care with public option...ok...Insurance companies are robbing the nation and its poor man...ok

    August 21, 2009 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  18. They call me "Tater Salad"

    The Republicans are morons and the Democrats are idiots! We need a third party that's focused on results and not on having endless, political popularity contests! All I can say is " No public option for us= no re-election or political future for you"! Take your pick!

    August 21, 2009 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  19. Shibumi

    Just wait until Rahm "Dead Fish" Emmanuel gets to knee-capping Hoyer. Follow that up with some visits from the SEIU union thugs. Once he is out of intensive care, he'll change his tune.........Chicago thug politics in action.

    August 21, 2009 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  20. Gary

    These aren't mixed messages....The Blue Dog Democrats, the independents and the Republicans all agree....NO PUBLIC OPTION! NO NEW TAXES! That is what the Majority in congress want and the majority of the taxpayers want.

    We need to stop listening to stupid people like Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Barney Frank and start listening to the people who understand that smaller government is better and that there is no such thing as free healthcare!

    August 21, 2009 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  21. Would you believe?

    Democrats, wait a minute the gutless fraud of a coward in thief said it was the Republicans fault?

    No, it was the media....

    Nope, nope, it was the cable chatter...

    Or was it Sarah Palin?

    No he said it was George Bush...........

    Remember when he said it was the insurance companies?

    Is this like when he was for the single payer system (on TAPE), before he was against it?

    Is this like when is kinda for the Public option depending on the crowd?

    Sheep, you will hammer me because one, I am right and two, you are stupid bleating sheep and nothing else.

    August 21, 2009 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  22. joe mett

    Shame on Rep. Steny Hoyer! Worry about your business in the House and let Sen. Reid worry about the votes in the Senate. This Jeffersonian democracy is becoming too much of a corporate big-money/lobbyist driven democracy!!!

    August 21, 2009 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  23. valwayne

    Let's pray that Steny Hoyer is backing away from the insanity that Nancy Pelosi wants to inflict on the nation with Obamacare. The Obama administration just announced our debt over the next 10 years will be $2 TRILLION higher than thought just months ago. Our nation is litterally being driven into bankrupcy, and Obamacare will add trillions and trillions more to that debt. More than all the rich people in the world could possibly pay if you confiscated all of their wealth. We will all be paying until our eyeballs bleed for the massive debt that Obama is creating. And while the debt shoots upward by Trillions, UNEMPLOYMENT shoots up to double digits, and the Democrats plot to force Obamcare down our throats, Obama is going on vacation to play golf!

    August 21, 2009 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  24. Texas Teacher

    Democrats AND Republicans will not change one iota unless we as voters demand that they do! Stop listening to the propaganda and remember that we voted for Obama to make the changes he promised! NOW are we going to let Congress decide for US that we don't really want those same changes that we voted for in record numbers!???? Think about it people! THINK!

    Media work for us... not the politicians who are in the pockets of the entire medical industry!

    August 21, 2009 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  25. Canadian Soccer Mom

    The only mixed messages are the ones coming from the media. The WH has said the same thing over and over. They want a public option. With 24 hours news to broadcast, the media has to put out a story so they've been reporting information before it is verified or from "anonymous" sources.

    August 21, 2009 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
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