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. Dave, Central Illinois

    If he describes specific ways to lower the cost of medical procedures and care, then do it. Otherwise, shut up. The fact that none of the versions of a healthcare bill up for consideration include tort reform is a travesty. Crazyman Howard Dean spoke the truth: "the Dems don't want to take on the trial lawyers". So, instead, just demonize everyone else....

    September 2, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  2. victim of republican greed

    With the help of th health care industry, the republicans have done a good job of confusing people by lying about health care reform. Even a third world country like Cuba has a better survival rate for breast cancer than the U.S.

    September 2, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  3. kim

    He can at least said he tried to get a bipartisan effort on health care. But times a wastin' and the people have grown weary and grumpy, forget entertaining these stall tactics disguised as conversation by the GOP. Get this healthcare bill passed now!

    September 2, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  4. Regressive Party Refugee

    Well, he cretainly needs to do soemthing to counter the spiffy one liner lies the conservatives are spouting like creationist gospel. They never are ones to let facts get in the way of their mesage, and the mentality of the tea tantrum participants, birthers, and armed "justice of God" idiots plays right into their hands.
    Then again, I am afraid the right wing ditto heads have demonstrated a total lack of mental capacity to differentiate fact from rhetoric, so why bother? The right wing attack parrots will just make up more lies, no matter what Obama says, and the republicans will just raise their arms, shout "sieg heil" and vote in lockstep against anything this administraton promotes.

    September 2, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  5. a health economist

    So far I believe that the majority of what the administration is pushing for will not fix the problems with health care. However, since the majority of what the GOP wants to do will make things worse, I'd prefer the administration's agenda than the GOP's.

    September 2, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  6. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    How about announcing that he'll only implement the savings part first, then after he's proven he can cut costs and only then, expand benefits.

    September 2, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  7. Obama's teleprompter

    When all else fails give a speech.

    September 2, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  8. Nagudcm Sugna

    That is what we really need... A good talking to. What does he think, that we are a bunch of children?

    September 2, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  9. Scott, Tucson

    This boy is pretty dense and just can't get it into his head that most Americans don't want the health care / privacy / free care to illegals prgram he's trying to get us to swallow.

    He should first try fixing Social Security, Medicare, Afghanistan.

    September 2, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  10. victim of republican greed

    If health care reform fails, I hope the republicans and Fox entertainment will man up and take full responsibilty for the disservice they have done to the American people.

    September 2, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  11. Lila

    Mr. President...JUST DO IT already!!!

    September 2, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  12. Steve (the real one)

    I am reading liberals pleading with the President to lay out specifics concerning healthcare during the next speech. Where were the specifics before? He wanted healthcare passed before the recess WITHOUT specifics. All of a sudden somebody sees the light and determines specifics are now required? Yet you liberals wonder why seniors are scared, townhalls are full of angry people, and the GOP and Blue Dog oppose? How about this................THERE WERE NO SPECIFICS! No Senate draft blll and several House versions! Unbelievable!

    September 2, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  13. David The Canadian

    Although, Canada's system is far from perfect, I probably wouldn't be alive today if i lived in the US. I had medical concerns for the past ten years. Even though i waited, sometimes in pain, to see the doctor, i eventually was treated with more than adequate care.
    Let's say i was insured, the deductibles and the cost of insurance would not permit me to be presently in University. This gives an unjust advantage to succeed and get a higher education for those who grow up rich, who may not worry as much for their health. This creates a status-quo in American social-classes. I thought America was all about equal opportunity! How can citizens of the US begin at the same starting line, when many are preoccupied with their health.

    September 2, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  14. donttreadonme

    The Government option is to pick up all of the poor and those that the insurance companies see as too risky.
    How will this help compete? You are taking all of the people they don’t want already?

    We need our own personal, private and portable insurance. There needs to be regulations that prevent folks from being kicked off because they are sick. And individuals better be prepared to pay more no matter what. Your insurance now is cheap because there are established lifetime caps and restriction sagainst pre-existing conditions.

    September 2, 2009 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  15. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA - I spend all day blogging, contribute nothing to society

    Dems have an unstoppable majority in Congress. They can pass anything they agree on. So why are the Republicans being blamed for lack of progress. The real problem is that even many Democrats don't like the plan!!

    September 2, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  16. Duck Fallas

    White Ringers really have their panties in a bunch over this- and they have no idea why.

    September 2, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  17. B

    Its about time! He must realize by now that the Republicans never intended to co -operate on the health bill from the beginning, so get it done without them. The American people want this to happen by a majority. This was one of Obama’s main policy points in the campaign.

    Mr. Nice guy only goes so far..

    September 2, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  18. Mark Cross Junction VA

    "Help me, I have fallen and can't get up!" Poor Man.

    September 2, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  19. Independent in NYC

    It would seem things are going according to plan for the White House. When Bill attempted health care reform he didn't jump into the fight from the beginning. He let his wife take the hard hits. President Obama let congress and the senate take the hits.

    A real leader never jumps into the fray at the onset. A leader – leads. First you send in the soldiers and field command, then the generals and once the stage is set the opposition will either win, which the republicans haven't, fold which they won't do or look like fools. Then the commander steps in and rallies the troops for one final push to claim victory.

    COMMANDER AND CHIEF I AM READY FOR MY ORDERS FOR THE FINAL PUSH.

    September 2, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  20. marvinj

    Thats good break it down so my grandmother and 13 year old son both get it , even though we know it's deep and very detailed.

    But the trick will be to put an end to the GOP's lies and do nothing mentality.

    Because the Obama administration haters no matter how well it's explained will still believe the lies and fear tactics that are laid before them... They want anything to justify there racially motivated ideas. True Americans help americans not just a hand picked few.

    September 2, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  21. A new set of lies will be coming soon

    Is there a reason this was NOT part of the STORY????

    Obama is considering detailing his health-care demands in a major speech as soon as next week, when Congress returns from the August recess. And although House leaders have said their members will demand the inclusion of a public insurance option, Obama HAS NO PLANS TO INSIST ON IT HIMSELF, the officials said.

    On health care, Obama’s willingness TO FORGO THE PUBLIC OPTION is sure to anger his party’s liberal base. But some administration officials welcome a showdown with liberal lawmakers if they argue they would rather have no health care law than an incremental one. The confrontation would allow Obama to show he is willing to stare down his own party to get things done.

    AND THE LEFTISTS WILL STILL VOTE FOR IT.

    Smoke, lies, mirrors and more lies and by the way ABORTION IS AND WILL BE FUNDED, they are just manipulating the way it WILL BE FUNDED.

    September 2, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  22. Dean

    Where does the GOP aka the Vocal Minority get off in claiming that the Majority of the people don't want a Public Option.
    Thats a load of crap. Yes we do want a public OPTION . If you outspoken few don't like it ,it's real simple don't pick it as your choice.
    Stay with your private plan, now whats so hard about that.

    September 2, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  23. 30m-PA-Dem

    Oh no, not another speech.

    September 2, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  24. Wake Up

    He is a scary president. Anyone see he has a plan to have our childern learn to appreciate him through presidency? This guy is a typical Facsist. Scary Scary man. Say No to Obama!

    September 2, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  25. Otto

    How many of you Republican supporters posting here are uninsured? How many of you same people collect Medicaid or Medicare? Those are government run programs; the same as social security but they are not socialist programs. What makes them not socialist programs?

    On one hand, you collect socialist dollars but with the other; you say no to socialist programs.

    How much longer will you be paid for spreading lies and jumping all over the place with your hanger? Can't wait for you all to be unemployed and unable to collect unemployment and your currently provided medicaid.

    September 2, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
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