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. karen

    The way I see it is that the Republican supporters are being duped and brainwashed by the big right wing propaganda machine that is always looking for ways to undermine their opposition, Come on people use your heads, don't be mis -led and used a tools for a political agenda. If you look deeply you will see that what Mr. Obama is tring to do will benefit everyone.

    September 2, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  2. Jacqueline

    Why is this an all or nothing? O'Bama needs to reform and fix what's broken first. Once the population see's small successes, he can tackle another healthcare issue. Reforming the entire healthcare system all at once is to scary for everyone...unless he doesn't care about the consequences that could affect some or most people. The Dems way or the highway...not very bi-partisan. Dems, what if it was the other way around?

    September 2, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  3. Eric

    People are saying that they think he's doing a horrible job, but what is so horrible about it? Health care isn't going as well as it could be but that's just because of stupid, ignorant people (Republicans) are blocking anything and everything from happening. If people want a choice in what they want for health care, they should be FOR the public OPTION. OPTION people!!! It's an OPTION. If you don't want that, you and OPT out! If it was something that's mandatory, it would be called the public MANDATE rather than the public OPTION. Find a dictionary and look it up! That is if you have the brain capacity to find a dictionary and find those two words!

    September 2, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  4. BJC

    I wouldn't believe a word out of his lying mouth. He wouldn't know the truth if it hit him in the face.

    September 2, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  5. Barack won the election, America loses big time.

    Oh another speech from someone that nobody believes anymore, wow that is really effective.

    September 2, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  6. Parnell Godfrey

    Don't put yourself out; no one wants to hear it. Besides, we are all too nervous to watch lest his teleprompter breaks.

    September 2, 2009 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  7. Jeff

    Judging from many of the comments above, I think we'd ALL benefit from some detailed straight talk that is designed to clarify/contradict/straighten out all the misinformation that's been spread by special interest groups.

    September 2, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  8. Andrew

    Republicans will always scare themselves out of voting for their economic self interest, because they are idealogues, and all you have to do is shout, "Socialism!" and they will go into a frenzy. The sad part about it is that most of them have never been to a country that has universal health care, or any other socialist elements. This is why people say we have the best healthcare in the world and yet we have the highest infant mortality rate of any developed nation in the world. Doesn't sound so great to me.

    September 2, 2009 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  9. MT

    Screw the general outlines, thats for the Democrats who can't do math!

    I want details

    – How many medical professionals will the US need the minute this "option" hits the street

    – How many mental health professionals will the US need when all the jobless druggies realize they can get their valium etc from the taxpayers

    – How bad have we underestimated the cost (We never get this one correct..... EVER)

    – Are the politicians taking the "option"

    September 2, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  10. Pat

    This is just another power grab. Did you know that the government wants to electronically record all medical transactions? That means the government will have access to all your health problems, perscriptions, etc. Just another way for Big Brother to keep biometrics on every citizen and control another voting block. Big Brother takes care of us so we must submit to his will. So sad, you all are willing to spend hours complaining about "Right Wingers" and "Republicans" not supporting the government take over of the health insurance industry but you probably wouldn't donate a second of your time or a cent of your savings to a local hospital, clinic or charity. The problem with socialism is that at some point you will run out of other people's money. I guess you can just call up Bernake and Geitner and ask them to print more huh?

    September 2, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  11. Ken in NC

    Mr. Axelrod, this is the problem. President Obama is the President. He is in charge. He should not be saying that he will consider giving a speech. He needs to take charge and speak up and say what he wants in the bill. He should say what he wants the bill to do so there is no room for scare tactics from Republicans.

    Mr. President, if you want something done right, do it yourself. I am a supporter and will be for a while but like so many others, I do have my limits.

    September 2, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  12. Mike

    Oh great, he is going to be on tv again. Time to go out for another movie. At least that fiction is entertaining unlike obama.

    September 2, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  13. T22

    Someone mentioned that our breast cancer survival rates are worse than Cuba's. Actually US breast cancer survival rates are the best in the world. Do some research, maybe you'll also find the articles about how Europe lags behind the US in survival rates in all types of cancers.

    Why does "reform" have to mean "the government does it"? I've been trying to get a replacement SS card for my son, been waiting for 3 months. Called them a week ago and they said they'd call me within 3 to days, still nothing. You want these people running your healthcare?

    September 2, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  14. Brett

    People of USA, you need to re-take this country! We can call for speical vote, if Obama still stubborn with healthcare .

    September 2, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  15. Jack

    It would probably be a better idea to have the speech in congress. That way there will be less of a chance for him to make a blunder like he did at the last health care press conference with the cambridge incident.
    With that said, he is going to stand up and do what he does best – talk. The man is a smooth orator. There is no way anyone can deny that, but when it really comes down to it, is he actually going to say anything? I've been waiting for over a year for him to say something, but he dissapoints me every time.

    September 2, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  16. Bea Schuller

    What he will say is that he wants this reform bill and that it will not be his responsibility if Congress puts stuff in it that will fail. Of course, he won't use those words; his words will be more lawyerly and obscure.

    September 2, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  17. Steph

    We The People want healthcare reform now! Please lay out your plan President Obama.

    September 2, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  18. demo no mas

    Turn off the teleprompter and convince me that health-care won't be limited and that the rich will pay for it. It can't be done. Either tax us more to pay for it or forget it. There ain't no free lunch.

    September 2, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  19. JOBLESS IN IOWA

    Obama you promised jobs, but its all LIES. Nobody wants your Obama Care and WE DONT TRUST ANYTHING YOU SAY

    September 2, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  20. Jerry

    I love how stupid people can blame the republicans for blocking health care , may I remind you 60 votes deep to look in the mirror. Until tort reform is on the table ,the real cost of health care, sane educated Americans like myself will fight BHO and his socialist clan.

    September 2, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  21. Andrew

    Republicans = Corporate Shills for the insurance companies. Just follow the money...

    And btw, the US has socialized healthcare, it's called the Veterans Association, which offers the same level of care that many private hospitals do. I've worked in one and have seen first hand the level of quality they provide. Funny how I didn't see any pictures of Stalin anywhere in the hospital....

    September 2, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  22. Travis In Colorado

    Is this all Obama can do? Give a major speech that someone else wrote, and go on vacation? Let's see, so far the Obamas have gone to Europe, Russia, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Martha's Vineyard, and now Camp David again. Barack Obama, even your own leftist democrats don't want this plan, doesn't that tell you something? Democrats have a majority control, they could pass anything they want, but the democrats are blocking it, so don't go blaming republicans this time. It's all on you and your own party.

    September 2, 2009 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  23. Farrell in Houston

    Get it done after big insurance companies raise their rates and the insurance lobbyist payoff the GOP. Those who are against healthcare reform won't see the light at the end of the tunnel until they find out how they have been taken and used by big insurance who have not and will not tell them they won't raise their rates.

    September 2, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  24. VTolstoi

    I look forward to Obama's speech! Congress is having a difficult time fleshing out health care reform; they need executive guidance. America desperately needs this bill!

    September 2, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  25. Crockron-former Republican

    It's amazing the lack of maturity, brotherhood, and patriotism being displayed by some people in America. Last week my 19 year old cousin went to the ER delirious with fever. She's been ignoring a growth in her neck for a year because she has no insurance and can't find a job. Thankfully, she's alive and beginning radiation that's being covered by medicaid. I pay a lot in taxes, but I have come to realize that it's a good thing because some of my money goes to pay for sick and hurting people. I know that there are cheaters out there, but if my money helps one person... I'm OK with that. I am my brother's keeper. Get it done Mr. President, patriotic Americans are behind you.

    September 2, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
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