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. chubby

    KEN IN NC. Are you really this stupid. The Medicare problem will be cut and you will be paying more. You fools do not realize this whole program is for illegals and those to lazy to work mixed in with he wants to control a large part of this economy. It is hard to imagine how people can be so stupid or blind to this empty suit nobama unless you are one of the illegals or the totally stupid.

    October 18, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  2. Scott Carroll

    Support a PUBLIC OPTION now!

    October 18, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  3. Wake UP!!!

    @Stu October 18th, 2009 11:51 am ET
    . What makes any of you think the government could possibly run a federal healthcare program? We already have federal medicare and state run medicaid, both of which are total disasters***. The Answer is Public Option will be the constant leverage against the insurance companies to lower and maintain lower prices for their policies.

    October 18, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  4. Kim

    Hal – If the Public Option is in the final bill, I will not support Obama in the next election.

    Hal you can take your one vote and throw it in the river for all I care. We need health care reform rather you vote for Obama in the next election or not. It's not about you and your one vote. It's about saving the lives of innocent people that cannot afford healthcare in America. The insurance companies are robbing people of their life. They refuse to cover someone with a pre existing condition so something needs to be done. France has the #1 healthcare in the world and they have UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE FOR EVERYONE. With that being said two words PUBLIC OPTION!!!

    October 18, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  5. Scott, Cincinnati OH

    As I vote in the future, and believe me I will always vote after the eight long Bush years, I will remember that it was the republicans that prevented Healthcare reform at every turn. I will never consider voting for a republican again!

    October 18, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  6. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Will someone please tell me what George W. Bush did other than create wars during his term? I ask because no one questioned him.

    October 18, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  7. Jaxson

    We need the public option......the only way it's going to work.

    October 18, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  8. Ken in NC

    I will find another Democrat to support. I'll never vote for Rethuglaings. And to "Chubby", about this reform being a means to supply health care to undocumented workers, if you had half a brain a box of rocks would still be smarter than you. I would rate you over Sarah Palin but then she had sense enough to quit while she was ahead and take the book deal.

    October 18, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  9. Brenda

    YES TO PUBLIC OPTION. Stop trying to cator to pro-insurance company Republicans who have no compassion for those people who need the help. I'm tired of hearing the same old propaganda that the government would be your your business. Or we can't afford this. We can. We, as a nation, can do this and SHOULD do this. As for the Canadians; when I was there I asked numerous Canadians about their health care. I heard nothing but positive comments. We are NOT the #1 health care country. We should be.

    FIRE IT UP, READY TO GO!!!

    October 18, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  10. fred

    May God have mercy upon each one of us and on the insurance cartel.

    October 18, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  11. B

    Just about 70% of the American people say they want a Public Option included. What is it that Congress isn’t getting?

    WE WANT THE PUBLIC OPTION INCLUDED !

    October 18, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  12. Michael

    No public option- no reform. That simple. As a life long Democrat to say I'm disappointed in my party is an understatement. I worked so hard for Barack Obama........I still think he needs to grow a pair.

    October 18, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  13. Flo

    I hope he's right but Dems should not waterdown HCR to appease republicans because they are the ones who is trying to stop reform. We need to stop the division among Dems in congress and speak with one voice. I'm getting a little tired of this back and forth, Dems need to realize republicans does not plan to get on board so they need to be left behind; Olympia Snowe or not.

    October 18, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  14. jeff

    I support a public option, use the "trigger idea" if you must, but get reform passed this year. I have "pre existing conditions" and once I finish school this spring I will no longer be on my parents plan and will find it very difficult or unaffordable to but insurance on my own.

    October 18, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  15. Liz T., Tucson

    Eighty percent of the American people want single payer or a "public option", so why are we even talking about a compromise?

    October 18, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  16. Rick

    For those so strongly in favor of a public option – do you know that the government subcontracts a significant % of the management of medicare to private insurance companies like Blue Cross? Do you really think the government is going to cross one of their largest lobbies (health insurance).

    October 18, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  17. D. Tree

    Thank goodness for Democrats pushing this reform through even though the GOP and Insurance companies have done their best to oppose it.

    This reform will save lives AND money. Its only common sense.

    October 18, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  18. victim of republican greed

    Stu- The reason the energy independence plan under Carter did not work, was partially due to Reagan eliminating the 55 mph on interstate highways which was to reduce fuel consumption and also save lives. Carter had attempted to address the shortage as we all waited in gas lines in 1973 to get our 5 gallons of Nixon gas.

    October 18, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  19. On the other hand...

    Obama talking about lowering costs of health care is like hearing Brett Favre talk about retiring from football. Really. It's insulting.

    October 18, 2009 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  20. karen

    Well for all those who want a public option you'd best do all you can to make sure there is going to be a public option in this bill. You have got to get out there to fight for what you want....you can't just sit by and say you want it and magically it will happen. GET OUT THERE AND FIGHT FOR IT.

    If the republicans can get out there and show the world what they want surely the democrats and liberals can get out there too and demand what they want. Hold demonstrations, lobby your congressmen, harrass your congressmen and women...just do it!!

    IF YOU WANT A PUBLIC OPTION .......FIGHT FOR it.

    October 18, 2009 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  21. dprosenthal

    I have only one question – who the hell is going to pay for it?? Perhaps the whole thing should be tabled until the economy has improved and the reform project can be seriously investigated for effacacy and affordability. In the meantime, grant more monies to ERs,and free clinics – no matter how much we want to take care of everyone in need, medical personnel, supplies, and facilities must be paid for – the medical and support people can not afford to work for nothing (can you?) and businesses cannot give away product, facilities, utilities and services.

    October 18, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  22. We Won Get Over It

    It better have a public option or the members of congress should pack their bags because they won't be there long...the filth station Fox's beck taks about a grass root movement when Fox and its funders got the tea baggers to try to stop health care...they aint' seen nothing yet if the public option don't pass. They might even try to get Fox's license revoked...someone told people on one of the other blog sites how to do it and we all are going to try....after we clean out congress in 2010.

    October 18, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  23. amt in CA

    If there is no Public Option it will not be real health care reform so I am hoping it is "yes to public option"

    October 18, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  24. Jon

    Don't forget that if you are a state (employee), local (employee), or public school teacher your health insurance will also be taxed. Reason is that you all have top of the line plans and any person who has a ppo will be taxed. This tax on so called cadillic plans is a manipulation. It will tax most americans who have health insurance PPOs. Do not be fooled by your desire to have health care reform. This tax will hurt almost all americans. Also, for our government to punish americans in anyway for not having health insurance coverage is a violation of our constitutional rights and will be shot down by the courts. Furthermore, not putting malpractice tort reform in any of these proposals will keep cost higher. Doctors have to pay an average of $70000 a year in malpractice coverage. Do any of you think they eat that cost or pass it on to you. Reality check ladies and gentleman. PLEASE POST

    October 18, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  25. jane

    "A compromise coming" doesn't bode well for the citizens of this country, so many of whom get very poor health care. People are dying while the opponents of reform are able to drag the banter on... and apparently the proponents are lacking backbone.

    October 18, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
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