October 18th, 2009
10:25 AM ET
5 years ago

Axelrod: Compromise on health care coming

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Compromise is coming on a health care reform bill, President Barack Obama's senior adviser said Sunday.

Speaking on the ABC program "This Week," David Axelrod dodged direct questions about whether Obama would sign a bill without a government-run public insurance option.

He noted that the five proposals passed so far by House and Senate committees would eventually be melded into one through further negotiations and debate.

"I believe that there is a fundamental belief on the Hill at this time that we can't fail now," Axelrod said. He added that he thinks that determination "will overcome these differences. … There will be compromise."

Obama and liberal Democrats in Congress support a public insurance option, calling it necessary competition for private insurers in order to expand coverage and bring down costs. Republicans are unanimously opposed to a public option, calling it a first step toward a government takeover of the health care system.

Some moderate Democrats also reject a public option, and a compromise bill passed last week by the Senate Finance Committee lacks the provision. It is the first health care proposal so far to receive any Republican backing, with moderate Sen. Olympia Snowe joining committee Democrats to send the measure to the full chamber.

Axelrod said Obama continues to believe the public option would help deliver his goals of health care reform: lower costs; coverage for Americans currently without health coverage; an end to practices such as denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions, and more regulation of the insurance industry.

On Saturday, Obama delivered a blistering attack on the health insurance industry in his weekly radio address.

In unusually direct language, the president accused the industry of deliberately misleading the public in an effort to defeat substantive health care reform.

"They're filling the airwaves with deceptive and dishonest ads," Obama said. "They're flooding Capitol Hill with lobbyists and campaign contributions.

And they're funding studies designed to mislead the American people."

Axelrod echoed that theme Sunday, saying the health insurance industry "has decided now at the 11th hour that they don't want to go along with this."

At the same time, though, Axelrod said controversial provisions in the bill would change as debate continues.

"I think that this thing is going to be adjusted as we go along," Axelrod said.


Filed under: David Axelrod • Health care
soundoff (59 Responses)
  1. Kim

    Shove the public option down the throats of the republicans and insurance companies. Just like George Bush use the reconciliation to give companies tax breaks that eventually stole from the middle class and took us into a recession. George Bush didn't feel bad about shoving that down our throats, so why should we?

    October 18, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  2. Four and The Door

    The Democratic interpretation of health care reform is the same as their economic reform and automotive industry reform and Wall Street reform and housing reform; throw lots of money at it and hope it fixes itself.

    By now they have a track record. So far this method of reform just put America in deeper debt. It takes more thought than just," How many dollars can we throw at this problem?"

    October 18, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  3. No Hillary = No Obama

    The White House is becoming one big dodge ball tournament and Americans better get a heads up quickly.

    October 18, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  4. mark

    Americans have spoken – no public option obama, we don't need more taxes or your socialism.

    October 18, 2009 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  5. auntiebie-fl

    I have a Big Hunch why the Republicans don't want to pass the [Public Option}, they want President Obama to fail on this issue so when 2012 comes around they will renamed it and used it to win the election, and then the republicans can save faced and reclaim that they were the ones who could pass this with a better plan for capitalism!!!! and Wall ST, ...THE END.

    October 18, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  6. Reformed Republican

    Hey Gary Davis and Brenda. I been to the Obama rallies. It's...

    FIRED Up, Ready to go!

    At least you are hip to the conversation if not 100% on the money about it. You know, like "Right Arm!" and "Outta State!" from the 60s & 70s...

    October 18, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  7. David

    The comments here seems like coming from little kids promoting slogans: "we need reform" "this is the only option" etc. etc. What are the costs, the ways to control them, what measures are taken and not taken by the various bills and what is the implication of each option on taxation, changing medicare and implication on its recipients, etc. are important policy issues. The crowds with opinion but no knowledge of the subject act in a herd mentality and do not contribute to the important discussion (learn before you have opinion! We need to control health cost and we need changes, but study the issues!).

    October 18, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  8. Helen, ID

    We are in the majority so we WILL A HAVE PUBLIC OPTION in the bill. This should be the end of the story.

    Let me also say this...the GOPers are always saying, we have the best healthcare in the world. Well, that doesn't mean it's the most affordable healthcare. Even if we gave them that point, which I don't, the best healthcare for whom? It may be the best healthcare for Congress, because they can afford it. What good is having the best healthcare, if the majority of the people CAN'T AFFORD IT.

    October 18, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  9. Barry In Las Vegas

    For Americans sake – these bills all need to fail. Start from scratch, have an honest debate and pass health care reform – not govemenment takeover that will give us another medicare and social security debt laden program.

    October 18, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
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