September 2nd, 2009
11:50 AM ET
9 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. Jeanne

    Looks like some of you fell for the "Blame the insurance companies" propaganda. This bill is not about health care, it's about control. The true amount of "uninsured" is between 5 and 12 mil and it wouldn't cost over 1 trillion to insure them. The rest are illegals, eligible for existing programs or could afford to have insurance but choose not too.
    Look at the big picture, don't we have the responsibility to ask doctors/medical facilities what things cost before we take the service. No one does, because they're usually not paying for it. I have a high deductible plan that I pay for myself. When I make an appt I ask the cost of the service. Because I pay myself, it's usually 1/2 the price billed to insurance company.

    September 2, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  2. donttreadonme

    Who is going to pay for the Government option?
    Who is going to pay for all of the thousands of new Government employees that will be required?
    Who is going to police the Government to prevent them from abusing this new power and control of 1/5 of our economy?
    How will you prevent this from becoming exploited for political gain?
    Why can’t we just fix what is wrong with our current private system?
    Why does this require a socialist option?

    September 2, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  3. perry

    Every other 1st world nation has a public option. Everyone talks about the horror stories in Canada, but in reality, they are healthier than we are (and waste less gdp). Plus, in the U.S. we have more doctors per person (Canada=1per 500 people; US=1per 400 people).

    Also, its not like Congress can't fix the public option in the future. It will never be set in stone. They can work out the glitches.

    Republicans, grow up. America may be great-but its health care system is poor. It is the biggest threat to our economic viability.

    September 2, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  4. A. Goodwin

    Rethugs: Stop the lies and misinformation!

    Go DEMS go!

    September 2, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  5. D..

    Considering a major speech... indicates HE doesn't 'get it'.

    September 2, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  6. Sgt. USMC

    Everyone be afraid of a President who takes action and works for the people. I guess a lot of you got used to a President who sent Americans off to die, lied to the public, destroyed Iraq and ruined our economy. Oh, Obama is so bad, I am so scared. God forbid he ever gets health care reform passed because then we might have affordable health care... oh the horror. More spending on helping the American people... socialism... oh no. Let's go back to when we were spending billions on a "war to nowhere". I bet you republican'ts would like that.

    September 2, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  7. Texas Pioneer

    Either Universal Health Care or a public option or a new President and congress.
    If these spinless Democrats can't muster up anything better than putting a few restrictions on the Insurance companies. Then we might as well have Republicans running the country like before.

    September 2, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  8. John

    Take a look at the opposition to this bill. Then look how much the insurance companies donated to their campaigns. When the Republicans want to make a moral choice they always look in their wallets first.

    September 2, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  9. Explain Again Please

    I hope he does do a speech to explain once again to all of you uneducated or do nothing Americans about how this will work.

    September 2, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  10. Nick

    Why are Dems acting like the GOP is still in charge? It's maddening! RAM HEALTH CARE DOWN THEIR THROAT! People are scared of change; so sometimes it has to be force fed. They'll thank you later.

    September 2, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  11. Marty, Grand Rapids MI

    I think he hasn't given a speech yet because he wants to sell out the public option. If he takes a position either way, it's game on for the insurance/drug companies and the progressives.

    Single payer is the best way for us to reduce cost and provide coverage to all Americans. The public option is an ok way to reduce cost and help provide coverage to all Americans. Anything less then that is a gift to the insurance companies and a waste of time.

    Republicans meanwhile continue to just make noise. Submit a plan to the CBO or get out of the way.

    September 2, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  12. panem et circenses, but CNN won't post

    See, the whole thing about "leading" is you have to be OUT IN FRONT!

    September 2, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  13. maf

    Bi-partisanship from the obstructionists, which planet are you on?

    President Obama needs to get the wavering Democrats on board and bring in real Health Care Reform. He won't get any help on anything from the Party of NO in the next 7+years in office, so now is the time to absolutely draw party lines and get some "CHANGE" happening!

    September 2, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  14. Ace

    Keep talking. Its only getting worse.

    September 2, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  15. Dutch/Bad Newz, Va

    Here's the gameplan Mr. President. Any bill that comes on your desk and does not have a strong public option in it, break out your VETO pen. We can drag ths debate out forever, but reform needs to get done as soon as possible.

    September 2, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  16. mikem

    from small business owner
    8 employes 6 of whom are working 2 days a week are about to see a .27 increase in premiums. at this point maby i should shut down and let there unemployment run out so thay can get welfare since yhere health insurance is .50% of there income

    September 2, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  17. Cool Cat

    All these guys who are against this bill... a quick question.. what would you do when you (Heaven forbid) lose your job and dont have employer health care? What will happen to your kids and your spouse? This is not socialized health care. Try to understand, you are PAYING FOR IT!! you pay, you get and some of those unfortunate enough to not afford even this, they will also get health care on HUMANITARIAN grounds. If my country is all about Freedom and Liberty, then as a citizen and a tax payer, I believe it to be my right to a good doctor and treatment. I am willing to pay for this and I believe government intervention will help. Faith my friends is a rare commodity these days... My countrymen deserve affordable and meaningful Health care and the time for REFORM IS NOW!

    September 2, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  18. PC

    Mr. President. Please DO NOT give another speech! I've heard it, I've heard it and I've heard you speak every day for about 7 months straight. Has there ever been a president that has wasted and worn out the bully pulpit in his first year.

    I am assuming there are many Americans like me that just turn the channel now when he speaks... maybe why his approval rating is plummeting along with his domestic agenda.

    Memo to Dems- You have 60 votes in the Senate and huge majority in the house. Stop blaming Republicans... You have every vote you need if your party would all be on the same page. Good luck in 2010... you're going to need it.

    September 2, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  19. Dave in Illinois

    "It's time to synthesize and harmonize these strands".

    Boy that's a great phrase. He should have saved that for the President's teleprompter.

    Maybe if the Obama administration stopped using campaign speeches full of political double talk, they could get their message across. Too bad the message would still be the wrong one but at least then it could be understood without finding two lawyers and a dictionary to figure out what they were saying.

    September 2, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  20. Doug


    Option is that. Optional. You take it, or leave it. Getting out of bed in the morning and being useful is an OPTION. The bill he's asking for provides a public OPTION. Not a public "you have to pick this because I said".


    Lets dumb it down a bit.

    Do you like your eggs sunny side up? Scrambled? What? Whatever YOU PICK is an OPTION.

    When you graduate from high school, you don't HAVE to go to college, it's an OPTION.

    When you go to bed at night, be it at your bedtime or before, is an OPTION.

    September 2, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  21. Liberal from Boulder

    Yes. Health care for everyone! The bugs can and will be ironed out.

    September 2, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  22. Gary

    Stop making entitlement programs, no new taxes, no public option.

    September 2, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  23. TM in CO

    Didn't he just get back from a vacation at Martha's Vineyard? How many vacations do we have to pay for the President to take per year? Geeze, I cannot even afford to take 1.

    September 2, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  24. The black Spider

    Mr president No matter what you say about health care will convice the republican hatters and bigots to go along with it. They see the future of the country with affordable healthcare and no pre-existing contition or drop out or public option choice not so good for their party.
    This will mean the end of the GOP if the bill pass. They will become totaly irrelevant because no one in america will believe them ever.
    No more talk with the ignorants and their party just presure your collegue to pass the bill.
    You have done so much for this country to get it back on track in 8 months and i believe unemployment will be solved as well and the myoptics and the Ignorants will never give you credit for that. They will always find something to blame you for.
    We the intelligent who knows what you faced when you took office will support you. We might be little disapointed if the public option is not on the bill but will take you 10000 time from a GOP lying bags and hypocrites.

    September 2, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  25. LoLo

    No matter what he says, the lies from the republicans will still be thrown out there. I say the hell with them.Just pass his bill and veto any thing that the republicans try to pass. They are liars and hypocrites. Playing on Senioirs and less educated people to get more money out of the insyrance companies. I just can not believe how gulliable some people are. Like I said before this is a cover-up of racisim. They do not want this president to succeed not matter what. And you so called Christians, you will definitely get payback, because God does not love ugly and they will have to repent for every nasty thing that has come out of their mouths. Obama is the only one with God on his side at this rate. He will blessed forever. What ever the republicans throw at him will just bounce off, watch my words.

    September 2, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
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