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. Ron

    I wonder if he will announce Traficant's new role in the administration during this speech?

    September 2, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  2. Ron In California

    I only want to hear 3 things.
    Specifically,
    1.) what are the details of the benefits to me. I don't much care about the administrative detail.
    2.) How much will it cost...really and how are you going to pay for it.
    3.) Commissions and regulators cannot change the essence of the benefits without a congressional review of some sort. Each Bill that passes has onerous regulations that seem to evolve over time. Don't let that happen.

    September 2, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  3. Proud Member..Party of No

    The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Wednesday shows that 28% of the nation's voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Forty percent (40%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -12.

    September 2, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  4. stevegee

    Save your breath Obama! We The People have awaken, and don't believe your Propoganda Machine anymore. This is America - home of freedom and liberty, which means Choices - and we don't want socialized healthcare.

    September 2, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  5. David

    There is one group that opposses health care reform that just doesn't make sense to me and they are those who proclaim to be Christians. In Luke 10: 25-27, Jesus tells us two things we need to do: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, Love your neighbor as yourself." Jesus then shares the story of the Good Samartan. There are many believers of Christ but I would argue that there are few followers of Christ; for to follow is to consider your neighbor (i.e., your fellow human being) and give unselfishly to those in need.

    Personally, I am for health care reform and I am willing to sacrifice a portion of my personal wealth to provide to those who don't have. And I choose not to judge those who are without because I am not without sin / short-comings myself and, therefore, could not throw the first stone (another parable spoken by Jesus).

    September 2, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  6. Pat in Omaha

    PLEASE give us a point-by-point answer on ALL the negative, fear tactics being spread! Have a staffer write down all that garbage, stand in front of the camera, and explain why each and all should be ignored!!

    YES YOU CAN!!!

    PLEASE!!! We need healthcare reform...NOW...

    Thank you!

    September 2, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  7. GI Joe

    If you republicans think the deficit is a big debt for the children, imagine the deficit plus

    1000% increase in their insurance premiums and deductibles in the next 15 or 20 years.

    Even the wealthiest won't be able to even pay the premiums.

    September 2, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  8. Don B.

    Let's face it. If Obama and the administration were against the public option, the republicans (including the conservatives and religious right) would be whole hardily in favor of the public option!
    The republicans are only interested in destroying Obama at the expense of the American public. After all, wasn't it the previous administration that did everything they could to allow their big business friends in the banks and health care insurance companies to make exorbitant profits and pay their executives exorbitant salaries at the expense of the average family.

    September 2, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  9. Beth

    We are entering a new season. He is right. The tide is turing in favor of Barack Obama and the Democrats. A storng health reform bill will be a reality.

    September 2, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  10. randy

    Like all of his arguments that have zero facts. He will go uh arrr Bush, cheney, CIA. Oh republicans are racist, cops are acting stupidly, Drs. cut off peoples feet for money, give the money to the right people. Uh arrrr hur. Change. What a joke, Great job media electing the dumbest president in history. Guy could not be a secretary on Wall street.

    September 2, 2009 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  11. Artie

    One party rule with no recourse is marxist at best ;communism at worst!!

    September 2, 2009 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  12. victim of republican greed

    Rassmussen Polls predicted a McCain win in 2008. Their polling does not include cell phones and young people that they view as unreliable voters.

    Bush was reelected in 2004 and his popularity was in the lower 40's.

    September 2, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  13. in WI

    Just go ahead with health care reform and public option; people whined and moaned with the passing of social security and medicare, but now they gladly accept them. Morons don't do well with change.

    September 2, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  14. victim of republican greed

    Glenn Beck's 'Beckerheads' are out in full force today.

    September 2, 2009 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  15. Sam Sixpack

    Under this plan, Americans will be required to pay all they can "afford" for health care until they die on a waiting list.

    September 2, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  16. worriedmom

    Um it has been a while since he has seen himself on tv so has to give another one of his "useless" speeches. Face it, he has an agenda, gonna do what he set up to do and screw the majority of Americans! God help our country, this man and his thugs are ruining this country!
    Betcha he never metions in his speech about how much this is gonna cost us and how he is gonna get the funds!!! wait and see. For all of you who voted for him because you wanted change, well you got it!!!!!

    September 2, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  17. fubarnomo

    My wife works in a local hospital and I can tell you this idea that some will have you believe that people of color and illegals are the only ones without insurance is total crap....

    So all these people that love to use the phrase most american's don't want this are living in a dream world... A mind is also a terrible thing to waste.

    The talking point of the day, does not make you a subject matter expert on the issue........ World humanitarian groups should look into the number of deaths in this country older americans ,children especially because of lack of insurance / cost. And see where this great country ranks. ...... But as we say I can't see it from my back yard!!!

    September 2, 2009 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  18. Darren

    Americans ...Do not listen to the lies Republicans and right wing nuts tell you..Do not listen to the fear ..

    And Right Wing nuts don't you dare tell portray that Health Care does not work in Canada ...What do you have now ?

    What kind of insane political party thinks bringing in health care –the right for ALL to have access to health care (which should be in the constitution) is equivalent to fascism ?

    Republicans are finished and the whole world can see

    September 2, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  19. Dave in Illinois

    As usual, my original comment which was a rational critique of President Obama and his lack of leadership on the issue was bypassed in favor of the rants of the left and right which I guess generate more page hits for CNN.

    Obama blew his health care agenda when he put it in the hands of the Democratic left in Congress. His campaign speeches promoting it provide only smoke and mirror special effects which, as the polls show, people are now seeing through despite what campaign manager Axlerod would like to think.

    September 2, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  20. NOTTHISTIME

    It's pretty plain,We don't want more of the same old crap from washington that never works. It's all about the power and your lame arguments arn't working. We don't need socialized health care nor do we want it. We are the most healthy nation on earth, so what needs fixed? These communist just want all the power to control every aspect of your life!

    September 2, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  21. Fed Up

    Now let's hear about how Kennedy gave his whole life to be sure health reform passed. Whatever! The people don't want it. It isn't just the Republicans. It's the Independents, the people on Medicare and Medicaid, uninsured (because if they don't want to pay for their own, they certainly don't want to pay for everyone else's insurance). People can read the fine print. We are smarter than the Democrats give us credit for. Maybe Obama should read Lincoln's speech regarding giving a hand UP instead of a hand OUT. Give a man a fish and he will eat one meal. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for the rest of his life.

    September 2, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  22. Rob Johnson

    Frankly, he probably should have done this months ago. Let's just hope it isn't too late.

    I can understand why Obama didn't want to follow in Hillary's footsteps and tell Congress exactly what to do–we all see how that worked out for the Clintons.

    However, I think he greatly overestimated the ability of Congress to act like grownups, particularly Nancy Pelosi.

    Obama's greatest strength is his ability to grasp complex issues and articulate them in a way that is compelling and easy to understand. That is what is needed here.

    September 2, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  23. Jake

    the country needs to hear it...so McCain, Palin and the rest of the GOP can stop spreading their fear and lies!

    listen, and listen carefully America to the people who are actually trying to help!

    September 2, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  24. David

    Rationing and death panels are the terms that the anti-health care reformers throw around to scare us. Consider this: the anti-health care reformers, by virtue of their stance, are taking on the role of death panel members and are, in essence, advocating the rationing of care. When you argue against providing health care to all citizens you are essentially condeming to death those who don't have health insurance. Likewise, you are also engaging in the rationing of care: those who have insurance receive care, those who lack insurance do not. Rationing is all about dollars and cents and by arguing for the status quo you are agreeing to allocate the available health care dollars to a select portion of the population.

    September 2, 2009 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  25. Mike TX

    If the Executive and Legislative branches of Congress are controlled by Congress, and the majority of the American people want a public option (as many posters on this board assert), why isn't it done already? If there's anything I notice, it's that liberals will blame anybody but themselves when something they want (and they want a lot) fails. Conseratives are bigots, they are mean, they spread lies, they are in with BIG BUSINESS, Rush Limbaugh's dog bit mine the other day in the park and that's why health reform failed, blah blah blah. Ever think that health care reform hasn't gotten done because what's been proposed by your leaders is GARBAGE?

    September 2, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
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