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. Steph

    It is time to synthsize the various plans. This is how the process works. We have elected legislators to create the bill. They have put forth their plans (with the exception of many republicans who refuse to admit health care needs to be reformed – you don't participate in the process then you can't complain about the outcome, but I digress). Everyone should have had enough time to read the plans. Now we synthesize them, and the President describes what type of bill he will sign and what he would veto.

    September 2, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  2. Pepou

    GOOD. Health care is a right, not a privilege. We need to go ahead and stop this nonsense with these undereducated people who don't understand that public option is in their BEST interests. We need to listen to his speech, in front of Congress!

    September 2, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  3. Deb-Ohio

    Mr. President, by all means make that speechy. Make it very clear what is expected in a health reform bill. You know 70% of all Americans want healthcare reform, but I think the disappointment is that the message was never very clear. Yes on government option!

    September 2, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  4. Minnesotan

    Obama needs to step up and take control of this issue. The Republicans have been driving the debate with blatant lies, outrageous misinformation and then priming their minions to go to town hall meetings and shout out absurdities. I want to see Obama get up there, lay down the law, tell the public what is and isn't in the bill, and call the Republicans out on their egregious/petulant behavior.

    September 2, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  5. mike

    This guy is a disaster.

    September 2, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  6. Ken in Pisgah Forest

    Eighty percent of us get our health insurance through our employers. Everyday, employers are saying they can't afford to continue to offer health care and they are no longer offering it as a fringe benefit, especially in manufacturing. Even major corporations are looking for ways to opt out. The only country that has employer based health care is the U.S., and it is impossible for us to compete worldwide because of it. It costs about $8k per employee. In seven years it will cost double that amount. In five years, almost no employers will offer health care as a fringe benefit. Then what are we going to do? If the Republicans and their lies threaten you, reality should be even more of a threat. What you have today will be gone tomorrow unless we have change.

    September 2, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  7. Angie in Pa

    President Obama lay out the Specifics and stop playing with the Do nothing lying fear mongering Republicans they are not Interested in working with you Ignore them like the Country did in the last 2 elections GET TOUGH MR PRESIDENT!

    September 2, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  8. A new set of lies wil be coming soon

    This is why journalism is dead in this Country.

    Axelfraud is also saying that THE PUBLIC OPTION WILL NOT BE PART OF THE FINAL BILL that the President will be selling.

    Their latest incarnation of strategy is to pull the public option and fight the looney lefties thus gaining sway with the bigger part of the electorate by standing up to the "leftists".

    Anyone knows that the leftists will still vote for any garbage that comes out of this and there wil be hidden provisions that will somehow include the public option under a new name and for the record sheep, ABORTION IS PART OF THIS, it is just called something different and paid for differently, but all from the same funnel.

    WE THE NON-SHEEP will not be fooled by this community organizer that should be nowhere NEAR the White house.

    Bush was a sellout dolt and we thought this garbage was progress or hope and change.

    Wow……….

    September 2, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  9. j

    Take a page out of the Repubs playbook and get on the offensive. Noone respects a weak appearing Pres. If you truly believe somrthing, go after it and TAKE NO PRISONERS.

    September 2, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  10. Sam Sixpack

    Is he going to tell us that BIG PHARMA is tired of having to share the healthcare pie with BIG INSURANCE?

    Is he going to tell us that the real purpose of this legislation is to shift much of the windfall currently enjoyed by BIG INSURANCE to BIG PHARMA?

    Is he going to tell us that average Americans will pay more than ever for less?

    September 2, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  11. Sam Sixpack

    How much you want to bet he doesn't say anything about his proposed "Independent Medicare Advisory Council?"

    It hasn’t been slipped into the bill – yet. You can, however, read the language of the proposed legislation on the White House's website.

    The Independent Medicare Advisory Council will decide who does and doesn't get treatment in our healthcare of the future.

    Perhaps Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, Obama's Special Advisor for Health Policy, summarized it best when he wrote, "services provided to individuals who are irreversibly prevented from being or becoming participating citizens are not basic and should not be guaranteed. An obvious example is not guaranteeing health services to patients with dementia."

    September 2, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  12. Nancy Lang

    What's he waiting for; President Obama should have come out with a very strong speech early on to inform us of specifics and why everyone will be impacted if Congress and this Administration do not pass a health care reform this year.

    September 2, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  13. fellow from chicago

    And now the Dept. of Education wants to indoctrinate the public school system in this country with the philosophy of the far left? Tell the story about the Great Messiah? Create mindless left wingers for future generations to come? What has the American electorate done?

    September 2, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  14. Steve in Kentucky

    This is the only hope he has to pass health care, in my opinion. And it had better be a good speech - not like the news conference he held on health care earlier this summer.

    Between Obama's delusions of getting cooperation from the GOP and his limp-wristed approach to countering the total lie campaign of the extreme right wing, he has pretty much lost the fight at this point.

    But this is worth fighting for and fighting for hard! It's time he seized up the challenge and met it head on!

    September 2, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  15. DAVE

    WOW!!!!!! another prime time rah rah speech........ does he really think that another one of these are going to make people understand his plan any better????? perhaps he should scrap the house bill and start over with his ideas if they are so good.... my gut feeling tells me that he doesn't have a clue of what he is doing since he handed it to congress to hammer out........ maybe he should lead the charge to turn America into a Muslim Nation.. I am pretty sure he knows plenty on this subject........

    September 2, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  16. Florida Joe

    It's about time..TOO many lies from the REPUBS...........Take it to them NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 2, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  17. MJ

    Isn't this special .. Wonder if we will get hand-outs in the mail so we know when to jump and how high like the school children. Another Obama Infomercial – enough already. When will he realize that most Americans do not wan't socialized health care or Government controlling our every move!

    September 2, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  18. Insurance company employees on the march

    Just ram the bill through,and for those that whine about socialism,im sure they would crusify Jesus again for his socialism and care for greater mankind.

    September 2, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  19. Idiot_Pelosi

    No more propaganda speeches from the USED CAR SALESMAN.

    This "joker" doesn't know how to execute the details. He is trying to sell a bag of "crap", and no matter how much you spray it with Lysol, it still stinks.

    Until this "joker" gets the point that we don't want SOCIALIST policies, he is going to fail because the majority is NOT going to pay any more TAXES or FEES.

    September 2, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  20. The Lonely Libertarian of Liverpool NY

    I'm not against Health care reform, I am against the cost. This nation is 9 trillion dollars in debt as of today, double the Bush debt in 7 and half months. This reform is estimated to cost upwards to 3 trillion dollars. I am taxed out folks, I pay over half of my gross income in taxes, and I only make 60 K a year. The middle class can not afford a tax increase, show me where the spending is being cut to offset this new spending and I'm all for reform, if not we must stop this before we drive this nation into bankruptcy.

    September 2, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  21. Mike in MN

    Obama needs to tell us what he does and does not want in the HR3200 bill.
    Does he want the new 27 member committee of government appointed officials, 18 to be appointed by the President? This committee will have full authority do define a qualifed private health plan.
    Does he want the part of HR3200 that phases out private plans after 5 years that do not meet the committee's definition of a qualifed plan? Obama says if you like your plan, you can keep it. This part of the bill would make that not true.

    September 2, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  22. Longhorn who speaks the truth.

    You can speak all you like but we don't into to pay for your people and all the illegals health insurance . Then stand by and watch our medical system collapse around us. NO WAY HOSEA, CO-OPS.

    September 2, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  23. katiec

    President Obama needs to say what he demands in Health Care Reform and that he will veto anything to do with co-ops or continuation of benefiting the insurance companies and big business. They have raped the American people long enough, putting greed and power over integrity, sincerity, performance and honor.
    He needs to address all the lies, distortions, swiftboating by big business and the party of NO.
    He needs to help the American people realize that the republican party does not represent us, does not care about our welfare
    and has a goal of destroying him, our country and us. The republicans only care about big business and their greed.
    With the GOP and their supporters unAmerican activities, we do
    not need to fear foreign terrorists as we have many of our own.

    September 2, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  24. Kevin

    It's about time, Mr. President! Now get to it!!

    September 2, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  25. MO

    Oh goody. What's it been about an hour and half since the last one? Thank goodness HGTV doesn't carry his propoganda.

    September 2, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
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