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. Promis

    March on President Obama
    There are so many haters against you, only God can help you.

    September 2, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  2. W. Axl Rose

    I'm glad he's failing.

    September 2, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  3. MS

    Considering it? It's about time! If he, and other liberals defended health care 10% as hard as Cheney defend torture, maybe people would understand more about what's actually being proposed.

    September 2, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  4. Peter

    Carter waited 3 years for his national-malaise speech, widely regarded as the tombstone of his presidency. Obama always was a man in a hurry.

    September 2, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  5. armymom1024

    OK – this administration "mis read" the economy, under estimated unemployment, got the deficit number wrong, couldn't even project "Cash For Clunkers" within 100% margin for error, and I should trust them with 1/6th of the economy AND my health care? I don't think so

    September 2, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  6. Bill from Baltimore

    The President needs to get in front of the American people...Most want reform.

    September 2, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  7. CL OT

    Why is every speech from this guy a MAJOR speech? Get over yourself Obama. You suck and we messed up by electing you. I can't wait until the next election; I just hope the damage is not reversible.

    September 2, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  8. Bobby G.

    Time to "recalibrate" what he said, eh?
    What difference does it make what he says at this point since he's already changed positions THREE TIMES that I've heard in his past speeches? The only "crisis" he's trying to solve now are his falling approval ratings...

    September 2, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  9. W. Axl Rose

    "Quick, Robin - to the Teleprompter!"

    September 2, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  10. inofritzn

    Speaking seems to be this presidents only asset

    September 2, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  11. janelle

    FINALLY!!! It's about time we get some actual specifics about this plan! There are very valid concerns that need to be addressed and answered with concrete, specific facts. Not just cliches and generalities. I don't want to hear for the 1000th time that if I like my current plan I can keep it. Explain exactly how I can keep it. If this plan is rooted in an employer based health coverage fashion, then it's up to my employer, not me if I can keep my current plan. If my emplyer chooses to pay the 8% payroll tax, rather than continue to pick up 75% of my premium, will I be able to get the same level of benifit I have now and still pay what I have been paying? Or in order to not increase my monthly payment, will I have to get a plan with a lower level of benefit? Explain who is eligible for public option. Just exactly what kind of plans are available in the public options and how much will the cost per month be for everyone, plus the entire cost of the program, and exactly how is the government going to pay for it.

    September 2, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  12. Mike M. Houston Texas

    Wow. If you truly think the Republicans could block passage of this bill then I am concerned that you really dont know what is in the bill. If the Democrats all voted one way the bill passes. But since you dont know that. Why should I believe it when you say "We need this". If the government was sooooo gooood at running things why is medicare in such a mess? We do not need this type of reform. This is America. No one ever said you were "entitled" to anything. Please dont propogate a welfare state.

    September 2, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  13. Susan

    Had the Republicans said "NO!" to Bush's war, we could have funded this three times over instead of being in debt to China up to our eyeballs. But he insisted that Hussein, who had been an ally and was keeping Iran in check, be killed, the country demolished, and thousands of people killed. We'd be greeted as "Liberators" and showered with Iraq oil for our efforts. Gee, no so much. Now it looks as if we continue indefinitely to throw good money after bad, so the Repubs can claim that we cannot possibly afford a health program FOR OUR OWN PEOPLE, on our own soil. That is sick and twisted logic. Mr. President, get us out of Iraq...the 'war on terror' is not winnable, and Bush knew it back in 2006.
    And instead of ganging up on 'illegals' who are here doing jobs you don't want to do...let's change the laws so they can become legal and start paying taxes. They will always get healthcare anyway...do you want an ill child spreading swine flu in your school because her parents were afraid to see a doctor? Seriously? It will be cheaper for all of us to cover all.

    September 2, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  14. tisgoogle

    All you racist wingnuts coolaide followers no one is forcing you to watch the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OBAMA SPEAK! Just like Barney Frank said talking to you is like talking to the dinning room table!!!! Your a sad bunch of people!!!!

    September 2, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  15. Terry in Alaska

    Our Republicans seem to think we have all the time in the world to enact health care and other reforms pursued by the Obama administration. Their party had eight years in power to deal with issues that have serious consequences to the viability of this nation - health care, environmental degradation, global warming, Social Security and Medicare reform - and they did nothing.

    Now we are in the 11th hour and the problems have only grown in scale. Obama, as leader, must lead us out of this horrible abyss and, as a minimum, give us the same Federal run health care opportunities as our legislators and federal employees get.

    September 2, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  16. bozo the obama

    no free health insurance for non-working liberals and their ilk.

    September 2, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  17. Beverly - NYC

    Enough speeches Mr. President , work behind the scenes to get the bill done already. Why give the wing nuts more chances to work against the bill and spread dis-information. Your prior attempts to explain have led to the rent a mob town hall nonsense which have the blue dogs with their tails between their legs. No Republican will vote for any bill on healthcare reform not even the two faces like Grassley who claim to be working on it. You can fix stupid Mr. President, grow a pair and fight for the bill you want. enough of the Mr. nice guy, or you will finish last on this issue.

    September 2, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  18. inofritzn

    stop blaming the GOP for stopping this.. didn't dems enter euphoria with the super-majority????

    September 2, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  19. LESD

    Is there a Republican health care plan? Of course not. They don't care about health care. They care only about winning the political game.

    September 2, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  20. DOC

    Wow.

    No mention of the fact that he's backing off public option.

    Well, I guess if they don't report it we'll just forget it like the lemmings we are....

    September 2, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  21. Bobby G.

    I don't want the IRS and Congress reading my medical records. I also don't trust political parties having access to my medical records.

    I'm sure they want access "for my own good". Yea, right....

    September 2, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  22. J

    Time to hear from the Big Boss, Go Obama!

    Time to take control, time to makes thing right, eliminate all fearmongering and scare tactics from those who are in bed with private insurances. The majority of Americans have spoken. They elected you for the office so that you can fix health care problem in this country, and put thing right again after 8 long miserable years
    This is not about politics. It is about taking care of Americans people..
    Americans put you and your team in the office, gets it done!

    September 2, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  23. demwit

    Oh oh, I hope he says I can keep my doctor..., again.

    September 2, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  24. TCM

    Americans must stand up for themselves, and protect themselves...so, in light of this, on 8 Sep, the day after Labor Day, all parents should keep their children home from school. This will create a 4-day isolation of their children from the masses, and allow some diminishing of the swine flu virus. It's a good opportunity, since school's just starting....remember, keep your kids home 8 Sep for Swine flu prevention awareness !!

    September 2, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  25. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Take off the gloves Mr. President, stop looking for bi-partisanship, and assert yourself. We know that you've tried every which way to bring the Republicans on board with this healthcare reform. They are not interested in doing anything for Americans. It is time for you to put your foot down and stop being a gentleman and a nice guy. Take it to them like they've been taking it to you, sir. We need healthcare reform, and w support you 1000%.

    September 2, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
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