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. Jay T.

    Get it done. And, this time, don't listen to the loud-mouthed, misinformed Wingnuts of the Right. No one else does except their poor children who will just spend their adulthood resenting them.

    September 2, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  2. Steve (the real one)

    Different topic,
    I love how the liberals are calling the blue dogs and independents racists now. They forget it was the independent vote that pushed their candidate into the White House. They also forget that the blue dogs are apart of their BIG TENT! That is until anyone starts to think for themselves! The dems have proved there is NO room for independent thinking in their party! Need more proof? The far, far left is complaining the President is not far, far left enough! And you thought the GOP was in trouble! There is no big tent and there certainly is no tolerance! Good luck with that, liberals!

    September 2, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  3. Aaron

    President Obama needs to step up and give specific guidance on what he wants in H.R. 3200. He should have done this initially when he introduced his initiative.The robust public option should remain in this bill and should be widely available to any and all Americans as a choice. He must demostrate leadership and push the evelope on this issue.

    September 2, 2009 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  4. randolph Carter

    The death panel will try to stop this. They don't want you to know the facts. Have a nice day!

    September 2, 2009 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  5. Hotdog

    I am sick an tired of hearing the President speak. Yes, he has great oratory skills but his leadership skill regarding reforming health care has been pathetic.

    September 2, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  6. cookie cutter liberal

    Oh boy! This should be his best speech yet, and will definitely bring this country together. After that, anyone who opposes Obama is surely doing so because they are racist and evil capitalist pigs!

    BTW, I hope the President invokes the name of the late, great Ted Kennedy in an effort to bolster his case. That would be the classy thing to do!

    September 2, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  7. Obama 2.0

    The Dems the GOP and the admin have been debating HCR on the merits of "whats in it for you" or "whats not in it for you" Cost restructuring health insurance regs, Medicare, etc. What I am not hearing is the debate of wether Health care is a right or a privalige. I want to hear more on this debate. Should it be a right? And does it fit with the intent of the constitution? Or is it a privaledge? And if so then should people in prison get health care when they have lost their rights? I think that this is the debate that America needs to hear. Help me out folks, lets talk about it from Right vs Privaledge!

    September 2, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  8. Fan of Common Sense

    Oh boy, the telepromptor-in-cheif is going to read for us some more. That's going to really chip away at my opposition to totally socializing our healthcare system. ;-)

    September 2, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  9. munchmom

    Gee, another chance to grandstand and say nothing.

    September 2, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  10. Doug, New Jersey

    So if this were really about improving health care, wouldn't the Democrats welcome each and every American's thoughts and ideas to reform our health care system?

    Instead we see Democrats boycotting the CEO of Whole Foods just for giving his opinon and offering real workable solutions to health care. Because a CEO, who has a dollar a year salary, gives his employees the best benefits and has given more to charity than all the Washingtonians, offers health care solutions, the people who go to shop at his store are now harassed by a swarm of Democrats trying to destroy his business. The facts show that this is not about healthcare, it is about the Democrats wanting a socialist governement where their opposition has no rights and freedoms, all their hard earned wealth is taken from them, they suffer physical harm if they say something the administration and its ACORN/Union goons don't like, and they end up dying by not having the health care they used to enjoy.

    September 2, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  11. Mississippi Mike

    He's had major speeches, done an infomercial and set up some phony town halls. There's nothing he can say that will create public support. All he is doing is making himself look worse. Second thought, maybe he should be more vocal about this crappy legislation.

    September 2, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  12. Angi's mom

    President Obama, give this speech in front of Congress and televise it on prime time television. Remind each and every one that the voters made it loud and clear at the last election, we want change, and we are watching closely. We've heard fear mongering and lies long enough. Let's get the job done!

    September 2, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  13. Four and The Door

    When all else fails, make a speech. In the case of a Public Option health care plan, this becomes the point where it's time to make a speech.

    In any event, a speech will not fix all of the major problems with a Public Option. We still don't want it. Find another way to grow the Federal Government. We've already seen that health care is a bad business for governments...over and over again.

    September 2, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  14. Skip, a black man

    Cant he please step down...

    September 2, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  15. DICK IN MASSACHUSETTS

    The only speech I want to hear from his hypocritical, lying lips is " I am resigning ."

    September 2, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  16. Harley

    The MARXIST Obama should STAY OUT of HEATH CARE !!!! We don't need Gov. run Heath Care !!!! All we need is to DROP Illegals from the CARE !!! And cut paper work. Gov. Run Heath Care will just hurt the Quality and more out of pocket money, and don't forget the Death Panel if your old it will say why bother. For some one who says he does not want to run anything he SHURE IS !!! Oh how are we going to pay for it ??? Higher TAXES !!!

    September 2, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  17. Aunt Bea and Opie

    Pfizer just got fined 2.3 billion for fraud,and were supposed to believe big pharma and health insurance companies to police themselves?Pass the bill now and screw the wingnuts.

    September 2, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  18. STAND AS ONE

    YESSSS!!!! I have been waiting to hear this GREAT news. Now Mr. President....THIS HAS TO BE A TAKE NO PRISONERS SPEECH. MAKE UP PROUDER THAN WE ALREADY ARE OF YOU.

    September 2, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  19. Counting the days until the Obamanation is GONE and America can prosper again

    I'm sure that the networks will carry this blatently political message, but they still won't carry anything that is opposed to the message of the great socialist hope for America.

    September 2, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  20. Padraig

    Another speech, more beating around the bush.

    His plan needs to be clearly communicated how it will work. He states it will create a competetive market, maybe so. One of my questions is – who will adjudacate and process the claims? Right now the private health care industry is. Will they continue or will the goverment have it's own system? There are many questions that need to be raised and answered. It is not happening.

    September 2, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  21. annie s

    Please don't just consider it Mr. President. Do it. The only chance we have at meaningful health care reform is if you take control. You allowed this to get away from us and allowed the minority voice of the liars and naysayers to sway uninformed and unintelligent citizens – take control, tell the American people the truth and GET IT DONE.

    September 2, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  22. Nothing 'Stand Up' about Sen. John Ensign (R-NV)

    What is the point of making your mulling, considering, and hand-wringing public?

    Present your detailed plans, draw a line in the sand, and dare House and Senate Democrats to stand against you.

    You might anger the already angry nutters on the reckless right, but at least this way you'll have the support of those who want to support you most and the respect of most moderates.

    Remember your "fierce urgency of now" and the "yes we can" mantra?

    Get it done!

    September 2, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  23. Terry from Texas

    America's Conservative Leadership, with unlimited funding from the health insurance industry, is playing Conservative voters like a harmonica. This whole health insurance debate is an artificial issue. If the health insurance industry had not financed this whole "Town Meeting" rowdiness, we would have solved this problem and have moved on to one of the other 25 critical issues that is facing the nation and the world.

    Most voters do not realize how easily their thoughts are manipulated. Corporate leadership provides the money and concocts the strategies. Elected Republicans are their richly rewarded marionettes. Conservative voters and citizens are the eager hayseeds who are willing to believe the most preposterous lies. They march to town meetings whenever their masters yank their strings, and they imagine that they are motivated from within, not controlled.

    Democracy has a new problem.

    September 2, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  24. Neil

    Memo to Obama. There is a reason your poll numbers are in freefall. WE DON"T WANT TO BE SOCIALIST!!! Hello. Is anyone in there?

    September 2, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  25. randolph Carter

    Our congress critters are in the back pockets of the insurance and pharmaceutical companies. The final bill will be an expensive giveaway to those industries with no real reform. It will be hilarious listening to the town hallers, birthers, teabaggers and other assorted nuts gnashing their teeth in 10 years when healthcare and insurance prices double and medicare goes broke. We get what we deserve, I guess. Have a nice day!

    September 2, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
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