September 17th, 2009
01:16 PM ET
9 years ago

Obama hits the road with health care reform message

Obama hits the road with health care reform message.

Obama hits the road with health care reform message.

COLLEGE PARK, Maryland (CNN) - President Barack Obama took his health care reform message back on the road again Thursday, promising a raucous crowd of college students that Congress will pass legislation this year.

"We will get this done," he said at a campaign-style rally at the University of Maryland. "In the United States, nobody should go broke because
they get sick."

The president slammed GOP critics for attacking his reform plan to "score short-term political points." Some Republicans "want to kill Obama care," he said, but their solutions "amount to the same old, same old. ... I will not accept the status quo as a solution."

This "is when the special interests gear up" and spread distortions, he warned.

The president has increasingly tapped the "bully pulpit" power of the presidency in recent weeks to spark new momentum for his number one domestic priority.

Obama's latest remarks came a day after the powerful chairman of the Senate Finance Committee unveiled his long-awaited compromise health care plan.

Montana Sen. Max Baucus' proposal would cost $774 billion over 10 years while reducing the federal deficit by $49 billion, according to the
non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.

The plan would require all Americans to have health insurance, but lacks a government-run public health insurance option favored by Obama and most Democrats. The budget office review estimated the proposal would leave 25 million people uninsured by 2019 - about a third of them illegal immigrants - compared to 46 million people currently without health-care coverage.

The plan came under immediate criticism from Republicans, including three members of Baucus' Finance Committee who participated in months of negotiations with him and two other committee Democrats. Some liberal Democrats also dislike it for dropping the public insurance option.

The White House, however, welcomed the plan as a step forward in the health care debate. Baucus called it a pragmatic proposal with a realistic chance of passing the Senate and noted its similarity to a framework for health care legislation laid out by Obama during his speech to Congress last week.

The Senate Finance Committee is the last of five congressional committees needed to approve health care proposals before the topic can be taken up by both the full Senate and the full House of Representatives.

Various forms of the legislation proposed by Democrats have already cleared three House committees, as well as the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

Filed under: Health care • President Obama
soundoff (89 Responses)
  1. Jim

    Go, President Obama, we're with you! A lot of us (including myself, white male, over 60) agree when you say a public option or pool is needed to provide "choice and competition" for individuals who will need to buy health insurance. I'm an insurance broker and know something about these issues.

    Health care in the past (like schooling, retirement, worker and auto insurance) was left up to the individual or employer, and not for all people. Our nation's economy and productivity would be better off if all Americans had health insurance and lived healthier lives – just like we decided long ago we'd be better off if all Americans had some education and some Social Security retirement, and all employees had workers' comp. coverage.

    I see no reason why mandatory and universal health coverage cannot be accomplished through a mixture of public and private insurance that focuses on cost-effective delivery of health care.

    September 17, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  2. ChrisG

    Once again he doesn't address TORT reform because of his own "money grab" for his seat. Most Repubs are in bed with them or realize they will have to be to get the their party elected again. Rid the congress of both repubs and dems and elect common sense. Obama is just another POLITICIAN who says what it takes for the votes and then jumps back in bed with whomever is paying. Young adults should be smart enough to see that SSN, MEDICAR/CAD, Post Office are all broke. You want these clowns setting up health care reform. Look at the next multi millon dollar Pork Bill and see what you will pay for when you are my age. Someone else to get rich off your tax dollars or someone to free load off your work. Over$21,000 paid in taxes last year. ACORN loves people like me.

    September 17, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  3. awaitingliberalizationbyCNN

    And the message is, all of you people that work, send me your money so I can give it to those who can't because they can't pass a drug test and are to busy supporting ACORN and watch Oprah.

    September 17, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  4. Dan, TX

    I read the blog below about tort reform and saw people saying how well it works in Texas. I live in Texas and the cost of my insurance policy is $12,000 a year. Is this way cheaper than every place else in the country because of the success of tort reform in Texas? Also, why does Texas have the highest uninsured rate in the country among US citizens?

    Confused in Texas...

    September 17, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  5. wait a minute

    I think it is foolish to refuse illegal immigrants purchase of health insurance policies. If we cannot deport them, would you rather pay for their ER care, which is much more expensive than preventive and primary care?

    We should accept anybody that lives in the US and wants to participate our insurance plans.

    September 17, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  6. Reinstate Darwinism

    He'll be forever known as "The president who couldn't stop campaigning!."

    September 17, 2009 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  7. normajean

    It should be clear to anyone who needs health insurance that one party is working hard trying to give it to you and the other party couldn't care less whether you have it or not. They've got theirs so who cares about you?In all these months the Republicans have done nothing while critisizing what the president and the Democrats are doing.

    September 17, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  8. Sam Sixpack

    "… I will not accept the status quo as a solution."

    Of course not, he plans to take the money promised to pay for your Grandmother's medicine and give it to his fat, greedy friends in the insurance business.

    He's recklessly dangling your kids in front of the Taliban (this isn't George's fault any more) and then, first chance he gets, he's going to pull the plug on your Grandmother.

    September 17, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  9. Tabeth

    America should be proud to have such a president indeed!

    September 17, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  10. vic nashville , Tn

    Obama this is your test you should get grade A

    Some democrats feel Hillary would have handle better

    September 17, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  11. DF

    Obama should not worry so much about getting support from Republicans on the hill. They won't support any version of the Democratic party's Healthcare bill. Just do what best for the American People. God forbid it might effect the Insurance industry (Scam artist that they are) negatively in their hugh profits.

    Republicans are not fair minded or remotely interested in anything but where their self-interest are!!! They only want to make Obama look bad even it the people benefit when it affects their buddy Health Insurance executives because they are bought off.

    September 17, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  12. shucks

    I have been asking different people who oppose health care reform why they oppose it, and 99.9% of the answers I recieve are the exact same answers that are spewed by Limbaugh, Colter and other republicans who have no idea what they are talking about, and are outright lies about the reforms goals. I heard death panels (lies), I heard you won't be able to keep your current insurance (lies), you will have to wait for critical care (lies), and best is their will be no care for special needs children (lies). What a bunch of LIARS feeding people their rhetoric and claiming it is fact. It is apparent that they haven't read any of the reform documentation, or they are doing it out of spite which plays right into the mouth of Jimmy Carter. How else would you look at it? Sickos

    September 17, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  13. TangledThorns

    He actually called it Obamacare? Very odd... He doesn't even care what he supports as long as it keeps his polls up.

    September 17, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  14. Idiot_Pelosi

    Well Obummer, that's where you're WRONG again.

    Some republicans and blue dog democrats have put forth excellent ideas:

    (1) Allow insurance companies to compete across state lines
    (2) TORT Reform (and not you're measly 25 million research project)
    (3) Agreeing with you that you can't be dropped for getting sick
    (4) Standards to help lower system costs across the industry

    What stinks in OBAMA CARE is tax payers paying for HC for others.

    I'm sick and tired of paying more taxes and fees so I can pay for others who want something for free because I pay for it.

    September 17, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |

    Hey Republicans.... just got off the phone ...the fifties called ...said they want their ideology back.

    September 17, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  16. obama the liar

    no obamacare.

    September 17, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  17. Felly

    The only reform the Grand Obstructionist Party wants is one that will enrich their pockets. They have no bill to offer the American people and most of their Tea Bag allies do not even have decent healthcare insurance. Infact, their cars have better insurance than they do.

    September 17, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  18. Fair is Fair

    "In the United States, nobody should go broke because they get sick."

    That's right. So why isn't a low-cost catastrophic care plan, designed to safeguard against an unforseen major expense, part of your solution? Or does that make too much sense?

    September 17, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  19. munchmom

    You go, Cheerleader/Campaigner-in-Chief!! Get out there and fiddle while Rome burns!!

    September 17, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  20. Health Care Program Conerns

    I have asked and asked about health care and how Obama's progam will affect me whether positive or negative and no one, absolutely no one can answer me. I have written congressman, white house, and others. So the way I look at it, Obama's plan isn't going to help. Anyone at all!

    September 17, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  21. katiec

    Our president needs to keep pounding away on Health Care Reform in hopes of helping people realize how critical this is for our country.
    Any one who thinks big business, lobbyists, special interests and those who support them continue to be allowed to control and run our country, making crucial decisions on our behalf makes one wonder where their ability to think is.
    Anyone who approves of thousands of insurance policies being cancelled daily, claims denied, premiums increasing to unacceptable levels, all the bankruptcies filed, many insured, due to health care costs. many dying because they cannot afford medical attention, highest health care costs in the world, yet we rank 37th in care and quality are a caliber of people I just cannot understand.
    And, all of this will continue if we allow the republicans and big business to win. We cannot!!

    September 17, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  22. Ubochi

    Good things don't come easy. fire up and ready to go will be a nice process to achieving this ultimate healthcare reform goal for all Americans. Good job Obama.

    September 17, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  23. wait a minute

    "One problem is that some claimed savings are unrealistic. The plan assumes, for example, that payments made by Medicare to doctors will be cut by nearly 25% in 2011." Economist on the Senate Health Reform Bill.

    Congressional Budget Office can run the modeling program again with different Medicare cut rates. And, I am sure there are other assumptions that are not revealed in the bill. Responsible politicians need to reveal key assumptions by CBO along with the bill.

    In any bill, there should be various final outcomes under various assumption combinations to model the realities better.

    We need a report issued by CBO along with any bill for us to believe it. That's why we need a better math education so citizens have a better tool to see if we are treated like fools by politicians or mortgage and insurance companies.

    September 17, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  24. JaneMN

    I am an independent voted for Obama, and I happen also to be a long time supporter for healthcare reform. But up till now, the reform plan of “Obama Care” has become increasingly perplexing to me – What is it? I was hoping Obama’s speech last week would clear up a few points, but I find myself being even more confused – the goal of the reform is to expand coverage, improve care quality, while at the meantime without adding “one dime” to our deficits, sounds very rosy, but how can you do all these things at the same time? So Mr. President, please give us some details about your reform bill before rushing through the Congress to pass it.

    September 17, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  25. Farrell in Houston

    Our nation cannot afford the same on same on as the Republicans would like even students' books change year after year to keep them up todate. It would do some people well to not only buy but read the most current text because the old one doesn't apply to the 21st century.

    September 17, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
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