September 2nd, 2009
11:50 AM ET
5 years ago

Obama considering major health care speech

President Barack Obama is considering giving a major speech detailing specifics on a health-care reform bill.
President Barack Obama is considering giving a major speech detailing specifics on a health-care reform bill.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – President Barack Obama is considering giving a major speech detailing specifics on what he would like to see included in a health-care reform bill, a senior White House aide said Wednesday.

Senior advisor David Axelrod told CNN, the president is looking at the possibility of a speech as "one of his options" in pushing forward his health care agenda after he returns from vacation at Camp David next week.

Obama has outlined broad principles for what he would like in health-care reform, but he has left most details to leaders in Congress. Now, White House aides say, the dynamic has changed.

"We're entering a new season," Axelrod said. "It's time to synthesize and harmonize these strands and get this done."


Another administration official, speaking on the condition of anonymity when discussing strategy, said the new phase was "driven in part by the actions of some in the GOP, including Senators Grassley and Enzi."

The official added, the White House believes those actions indicate that the two key Republicans - Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Mike Enzi of Wyoming, who are part of a bipartisan group negotiating a health care bill, "are essentially walking away from the table."

The official also said that "now is the time to begin to pull together the various strands and solutions from the four bills that have been marked up and other proposals... basically all the cards are on the table."

It's unclear still what form the speech by the president would take. If he decides to give an address, he could do it from the Oval Office or before a joint session of Congress. But the administration official said no decisions have been made.

"The president is considering all of his options on how to advance the debate and get reform passed. This includes possibly laying out a more specific vision."


Filed under: David Axelrod • Health care
soundoff (266 Responses)
  1. Joe, Georgia

    It would be really interesting if some of you who are espousing totally uniformed opinions would let the rest of us know where you get your information. Public funding of abortion has been illegal in this Country since the passage of the Hyde amendment and no one is proposing to over turn it. Anyone who tells you differently if purposely misleading you. None of the bills under consideration in Congress proposes "socialized medicine," although we do have two government health programs in medicare and Veterans health care that most users believe serve them very well. Whoever compares Fascism to the political process in this Country and our leaders to the likes Hitler has no understanding of history. The First Amendment allows absolute lies to be spread without any consequence. Unfortunately, many gullible people believe and spread totally false information and make it impossible to have intelligent discussions about serious issues.

    September 2, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  2. Joe

    Besides being the telepromptor-in-cheif and a smooth talker, whatelse can he do?

    September 2, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  3. ALL YOU PEOPLE CRYING ABOUT HEALTH CARE COSTS NOW NEVER SAT QUIETLY THE LAST 8 YEARS AS AS OUR DEFICIT SOARED TO 4 TRILLION DOLLARS...... .......

    You know, I'm tired of all you people out there crying about spending to prevent soaring inflation in the monopolized private health insurance market now strangling our economy. In reality, you people are still grieving about losing the 2008 election. Get over it losers...we need to get our spending under control.....by demonopolizing the private markets whose out of control inflation is exploding our deficit!

    September 2, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  4. Just a Mom

    He can say what he want's in the bill untill he turns blue, but the result will be what Pelosi puts in the Bill. And, I doubt BO will even read it before he signs it!

    September 2, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  5. Dont blame me

    More lies coming out of the White House.

    Especially since they have just done a lot of work to CHANGE the VERBIAGE of the health care to find a more palletable ( and dishonest ) way of delivering the message.

    Just like they did when they changed the wording from "health care reform" to "health insurance reform" and then went on to demonize insurance companies.

    Who with the White House DEMONIZE this time around?????

    September 2, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  6. haren

    Don't trust media they are all millionaire they don't want to pay higher tax and will never ask follow up question to any lie of a republican congressman.
    we can solve and cover everybody in this country if they cut the defense budget in half, we don't need all this weapon and I am sure half of them may be fake and may be paid full price to crony defense contractor.

    September 2, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  7. well...

    Nothing he says will sway the GOPosition ... He could have the cure for AIDS, Cancer and Male pattern baldness and they would still be blathering on and on about socialist, marxist, nazi Obama...

    I find the ridiculousness and vileness of 'some people' to be very disgusting.

    We are in a bad place.

    September 2, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  8. Ken from missouri

    He better show specifics and leadership if he wants this bill.

    September 2, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  9. Debra Hasan

    Go Barack.

    Make dam sure that both houses are there. The spine-less blue-dog democrats and have the pathetic republican there to let them know who is in charge and that you will win.

    September 2, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  10. No Hillary = No Obama

    Not another MAJOR speech!!!! This is getting tiresome. Americans are having tongue wagging fatigue. Is someone counting the number of words Obama has accumulated so far as President? He's just going to talk us to death.

    September 2, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  11. Dave in Ohio

    I'm tired of his old schtick already. Its a new sitcom season, I hope the real networks choose to stay with regular programming.

    September 2, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  12. Mary from Kentucky

    Its not the presidents fault. Whats going on now about the health care is the right wings are trying to stop th democrats from helping the people who needs it the most. . YOU REPUBLICANS SHOULD BE ASHAME OF YOURSELF. you only care about yourself.

    September 2, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  13. Gordon

    I see the Selfish American is alive and well here – "I want more health care but I don't want to pay for it."
    Wise up, people, if you want the kind of health care you say you do, YOU WILL PAY MORE, regardless of what kind of bill Congress comes up with (and they will pass something). You may pay higher premiums, or higher deductibles, or bigger co-pays... but you will pay more, period.
    A public option will mean paying less of that "more" because of competition – and where is it written that insurance companies (or any corporation in our capitalist society) have a right to make money? Let them write other lines of very profitable insurance.
    Karl Marx was wrong about a lot of things, but he was correct in his assertion that, in a capitalist society, the corporation (your employer) would have a greater impact on the lives or ordinary people than the government. I'd say he was right – who picks your health care options? your employer (based on what the employer can afford). If you get hurt at work, who pays workers comp? Your employer (through its insurance).
    Wake up, folks – reform or no, your health care/insurance costs will go up.... and that's if your employer doesn't drop your insurance because it's too expensive.

    September 2, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  14. CJ

    Speeches, speeches and more speeches!!!!!! Nothing substantial ever comes out of it other than give some fodder for the "expert political analysts" to chew about. Get ready to hear some more of the sugar coating (that seems to have melted away since the last one!!)

    September 2, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  15. actionsauce

    This is a game of political chess folks.
    There will be a public option.
    But not until it goes to reconciliation.
    Obama is playing this game perfectly. By asserting his stance early, allowing rumor of no pubilc option to stir his base, framing the debate, and assuring the public of this bill's legitimacy he allows the GOP – Pachyderm's to run their circus acts for the masses. As they stomp on everything they come near. With their poor vision, and lumbering ways, holding the tail of the elephant that comes in front of them. – taken from a speech by JFK. His and our power is not in the senate, filled eith its fat cats, and power mongers. It is within the house, and the re-introduction if the public option after the half measure, and self serving bill goes to reconciliation. Which it will.
    This is no trick of procedure folks. This is what the people truly want. Why? Because the house is by far more representative of the PEOPLE than the senate, period. Just in sheer numbers.
    When it leaves the house the second time, with a public option re-attached, it will no longer require 60 votes to pass, but only 50 (assuming of course that Biden votes in favor as a tie breaker).
    I am betting that he would.

    September 2, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  16. Jones in CO

    Three things need to be implemented to address health care costs:

    1. Tort Reform
    2. True Cost Transparency (reduce cost shift)
    3. National Wellness Program

    1. Need to keep the attorneys away from the trough.
    2. Abolish the Medicare Reimbursement rate times the RVU to equal a inadequate amount for physicians/hospitals. Get the the true costs and then everyone pays that amount, government (Medicare,Medicaid,Tricare) included.
    3. We are fat. Look in the mirror. Where is personal responsibility in the equation?

    These three things will do more for addressing the health care costs than any public option ever will.

    America does not want health care reform, we want health care FINANCING reform.

    September 2, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  17. Jones in CO

    When are we going to talk about the COST of health care?

    September 2, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  18. Lisa in CA

    If he were really in touch with America, he'd realize he just needs to let this one go for now. Wait until later in his term to tackle this ... once the recession has truly turned around and people are back to work. Not sure where the funds are going to come from to cover this plan if we Americans a) are not working and b) if we are working, certainly not making the salaries we were making. Less taxes in means more deficits. I'm not all that anxious for China to call in its markers. Plus, we really do have more pressing matters – US infrastructure, stepped up troops in Afghanistan, reducing our reliance on fossil fuels ...

    Perhaps he should consider instituting that change he ran on and rather than listen to his "advisors" and Pelosi and Reid, start listening to the people of the US. He really needs to step out of the insulated bubble that is Washington DC and get back to the cities and towns that make up the US. He'd hear and see a rather different story than what is being relayed to him.

    September 2, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    President Obama needs to give a major speech regarding Healthcare. It needs to be a long detailed speech about what is in the bill, how we will pay for it, etc. He also needs to detail and call out the republicans who have struck fear in the senior citizen community with all of the talk of death panels, no more medicare, etc. We need to support healthcare for all of our well being.

    September 2, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  20. Barry In Las Vegas

    Who is going to talk to? He doesn't even know what is in the bills his House and Senate have started to put together that caused this uprore.

    Part of his problem is he has talked too much. He has lost his credibility.

    I am sure that CNN and the rest of the MSM will give him more prime time to cover his speach. The only good thing about it is they all lose money while he is on TV and the majority of Americans are watching something else.

    He should start getting to work instead of appearing on TV and trying to indocrinate our kids while they should be studing in school.

    September 2, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  21. Demtrius

    If I could talk with the President I would tell him to get this reform done, sir. Health care should have been a right to Americans ages ago. Do not take away public option. Lay out what you origianlly said you want to see in the reformed bill, which was single payer. This will not be bipartisan. Cooperation in your own party is not there either. This is a moral issue. Even if it cost you re-election, this will be great for the free world. I'm sure we Americans can still hold on to capitalist views but, everyone should have a right to health care. Let's do this thing, Sir. This is why I voted for you.

    September 2, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  22. David

    He should give the speech in a joint session of Congress. He needs to clearly identify what needs to be in the final bill. He also needs to clearly identify the lies being propagated by the GOP.

    September 2, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  23. Bruce

    Does it not bother all of you Obama supporters that the country is already broke (The prez himself said we are out of money) and yet he wants to spend 1 trillion on health care reform (this according to the CBO).

    I work for an employer that offers heath insurance to all employees for $60/mo including dental and vision. One third of our employees elect not to take it yet elect to smoke, drink, buy Starbucks and overeat. Their poor choices necessitate them needing health care and yet they don't want to pay for it. Until we can figure out a way to weed out these irresponsible members of society who continually make bad choices and yet want somebody else to take responsibility for them, you will not see my support for the proposals as they exist now.

    I fear for the financial health of our country and common sense should tell all of us that we can't continue to spend like drunken sailors and expect no repercussions.

    September 2, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  24. Matt

    "How many of you Republican supporters posting here are uninsured? How many of you same people collect Medicaid or Medicare?... On one hand, you collect socialist dollars but with the other; you say no to socialist programs."

    When they stop collecting money from my paycheck I will get rid of Medicare. You can't force people to pay into a system that they may not agree with for forty years and then say if they don't like it don't take any of the benefits. That is an idiotic statement.

    September 2, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  25. Reggie

    Too late. Obama has lost his mojo. His favorability ratings are too low for him to sway many.

    September 2, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
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