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. Matthew

    Great. Another boring policy speech.

    Get a spine, Obama. Crack some skulls, play hardball, lie and cheat like your opponents and those tea-bagging corporate slaves, and fight back. Then maybe we'll get healthcare through.

    September 2, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  2. chick

    So maybe the anointed one will tell us " who really writes the health care bill and are they avowed communist as seen in their vidio claiming to be?" And why the need to have a "code" language? Why surround himself with communist in the whitehouse?
    You bet we will be in Washington, I don't care if his color is blue, red purple, no communist belongs in the Whitehouse. AND don't forget "he is half white" so which part of his color is greater? I thought he was 50/50!

    September 2, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  3. David

    Wow, it has been five minutes since his last telecast. He is due to spread more of his communist views.

    September 2, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  4. kevin, ABQ

    We don't need another speech; we need action that doesn't involve kowtowing to intransigent Republican demagogues and bending over for health insurance and pharmaceutical lobbyists.

    I was an ardent Obama supporter. Please note the use of the past tense. I haven't seen anything to make me believe that he is anything other than a conventional politician willing to sell his soul to the corporatocracy shadow government.

    We SO need another viable political party, now that the Dems have become Repubs, and the Republs have become lunatics.

    September 2, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  5. RealityKing

    Obama just said his #1 priority on Healthcare Reform was that it be deficit nuetral. Nuff said about his honest approaches..

    September 2, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  6. single mom

    Yawn.
    Honestly, he needs to forget the rhetoric and high-flying words. Get down to the nuts and bolts. Address what is bothering Americans.

    And for heaven's sake – stop blaming Republicans! Democrats have the White House and control both houses of Congress. They just can't get their act together and say it's the other party's fault.
    Whining is soooo unbecoming of politicians. Even if it is rather humorous. And sad.

    September 2, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  7. Al in Virginia

    Why can't he come out and state that the Congress and him as well as his staff will be under the same health program as us US Citizens.
    This goes back to what was said during the pre-election period that he has no idea on how to supervise/manage anything.. Best thing he could do is to tell Pelosi and Reid that they need to start over and get some input from both sides of the aisle..

    September 2, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  8. JP

    Yet another one?

    September 2, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  9. Dave

    I am a conservative Republican and EVERYONE agrees we need to strengthen our Healh Insurance coverage problems. We all know you want a Government run Health Care system and you are the President and have the duty to do what you think is best for the country – though this would destroy the worlds best Health Care system and bankrupt our country. So I ask only three things so we can have a legitimate debate on the substantive issues:
    1) PLEASE Mr. President be specific this time about what you want in Health Care reform. Do NOT leave it up to Nanacy Pelosi
    2) PLEASE do not be wishy-washy and talk in generalities and do not use anologies to explain your thinking.
    3) PLEASE explain how America will pay for this reform

    September 2, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  10. Dave C - NJ

    I love the clowns on here counting the days til Obama is gone so we can "prosper again."

    Just like we prospered under either Bush?

    The only prospering in recent history was under Clinton. Obama's policies are very similar...we will do just fine.

    Get over it. You lost.

    September 2, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  11. AUSTIN,TX

    all of you Obama haters, if you don't want to hear the speech,turn off your tv or move...whether you like it or not...he is the president and he can do whatever he likes

    September 2, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  12. demwit

    We can not wait, must act NOW to pass reform that works.. Do it for Teddy!!

    September 2, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  13. sharon

    Those two: Grassley and Enzi were at the table long enough to try to figure out the best plan to do in reform........they never wanted it.
    the GOP never wanted it.

    Time now to..........................go forward with health care reform......

    those folks that are on Social Security and Medicare like their plans.
    They at least have coverage.

    the people who keep slamming the reform .........do you know anyone on social security? If so, are they willing to give it up?after all it is a gov. run plan.

    September 2, 2009 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  14. HRC

    I hope he wears the tangerine colored pant suit this time..

    September 2, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  15. S Callahan New York

    The 'talk' won't do any good, nor will the "school lesson plan'(aka porpaganda to elementary K-6 students) on the "I am what I learn" day next week (santicioned by the Fed govt through Dept. of Ed..unbelieveable! ) .
    The Health Care is DEAD...it must be whiped clean...and begin again...there is no going forward they way it is written now...
    also consider....the national debt ..taxpayers are not willing to put more out....they know the time is coming the only way to pay for this is for a HIGHER tax to be implemented (class tax hike, primarly middle class)..
    What is going on? Ask Warren Buffet....even he knows....he has now publicly said no to CAP n TRADE....
    Good intentions without God as the Center will NEVER hold...
    There is only one path, no other.

    September 2, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  16. New Age Democrat

    Another campaign speech? NO THANK-YOU!

    September 2, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  17. Kate in San Diego

    Here is the problem as I see it: There are a number of people out there who have their minds made up that Obama is some sort of dangerous person who wants only to turn this country into some horrible communist type place. Nothing that is said or written will make this group change their minds, because they believe there is an evil plot afoot. It is almost delusional. This group could read the entire health care plan from beginning to end – all thousand plus pages – and still insist it says what they want to believe. I really don't understand the level of antipathy towards this president – unless there really is an element of racism. I would hate to think that.

    September 2, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  18. nea

    Go Mr. President Just be specific, The Republicans have told their version LIES and they know IT, you can fool some, sometimes but sooner or later the truth will find you out! CRITICIZE, CRITICIZE, CRITICIZE all you want thats all some will do anyway but when the truth be told and the Democrats put a good bill together the truth will prevail and WE WILL PASS HEALTH CARE REFORM. AND IT WILL BENEFIT EVERYONE IN A POSITVE WAY WATCH AND SEE! GOD BLESS PRESIDENT OBAMA AND HIS ADMINISTRATION AND GOD BLESS THE USA!

    September 2, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  19. makesUwonder

    Go ahead and make yet another waste of time speech. Many of us just turn the TV off or switch the channel.

    September 2, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  20. Neutralizer

    Another speech? Oh brother! I'm sick and tired of TELEPROMPTER READER. Obambi is FIBBER EXTRAORDINAIRE.

    September 2, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  21. haren

    Change the name from socialize medicine to civilized medicine so that stupid Republican can understand.
    they are good at changing the name like estate tax to death tax.

    September 2, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  22. Eric in Denver

    Does anybody even believe anything that comes out of this guys mouth? I am sure he will have his teleprompter working fine but the message will once again be vague with no details on how we are going to pay for it. He also has never addressed what to do with all the people in the health insurance industry that are going to lose their jobs. Read the bill in the first 15 pages it says that no carrier is allowed to operate with a loss ratio below 85%. If it is below that they have to refund money. Overhead salaries and commision alone exceed 15%. For you crazies that hate capitalism the top 4 carrier have less than a 5% overall profit margin. You would be hard pressed to find an industry that can survive with that margin. Even the loons have to realize that this guy is a complete phony.

    September 2, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  23. Gerry

    The President will need to be more specific about what he wants and what he will sign into law. The Congress is much too focused on the 2010 By-election to be of much good in self direction. The President will need to push and persuade them to his point of view, especially regarding the public option for health care reform.

    September 2, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  24. Robert

    Why is the word "major" attached to every speach that Obama gives. I have yet to hear anything I would consider major, unless you want to say it is a major joke.

    September 2, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  25. Dennis

    I don't know why people are complaining about the Republicans. There is not enough mof them to stop anything the democrats want. The truth of the matter is that several Democrats have figured out what a sham this is. I'm a Republican and I want there to be health coverage for all taxpaying citizens. However it needs to be done incrementally. It must include tort refrm, ways to attract more primary physicians and a small public option for the most difficult to insure. I still don't know how buyinhg coverage can be mandated. Is it going to be taken out of payroll. The people who won't buy it will be the ones complaining the most now. Everyone wants a free ride.

    September 2, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
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