December 15th, 2009
03:28 PM ET
8 months ago

Obama: Congress on verge of passing health care bill

Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama said Tuesday that "it's clear" Congress is "on the precipice" of passing a sweeping health care reform bill.

"There are some differences that still have to be worked on," he said at the White House. But "there is broad consensus around reforms."

The president said Congress "simply cannot let differences" over specific elements of the plan prevent passage of a bill. "There's too much at stake," he warned.

"Any fair reading of this bill" meets the administration's criteria of lowering costs and expanding coverage while not adding to the federal deficit, he claimed.

"I'm feeling cautiously optimistic we can get this done," he said.

Obama made his remarks shortly after meeting with Senate Democrats.

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Filed under: Democrats • Health care • President Obama • Senate
soundoff (75 Responses)
  1. Mark

    How does Obama figure it is not going to add to our deficit? Also from what im seeing everyones health premiums go up??

    Obama lied on his campaign and now it continues on.

    December 15, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  2. Kim

    I guess the insurance companies won again. We are going to have to wait another 100 years before a democrate have a backbone to pass healthcare with the public option.

    December 15, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  3. Dwayne

    There are so many good people between 55 and 65 and Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman just screwed over all of them. We are so hurt with this one senator.

    December 15, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  4. AJ

    And Obama doesn't really care what that bill looks like as long as something "historic" takes place. This is a bad bill that is nothing more than a windfall for the insurance industry. Just like his campaign, this is a huge boondoggle designed to con the American public.. The time for real reform is now. This isn't it. I hope Bernie Sanders holds out for a public option.

    December 15, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  5. Kim

    If Hillary was President she would not have to depend on Joe Lieberman to determine the final fate of our healthcare system.

    December 15, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  6. arlene Evans

    This bill is a major let down. The democrats have sold out. Those dems not voting for the bill and Mr. Leiberman should be ousted. The dems were elected on the democratic platform but have not adhered to it.

    This is a victory for the insurance companies!!!

    December 15, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  7. Perusing-through

    DEAR MR. OBAMA,

    You are caving into the very person you forgave for attacking your character and good intentions during 2008 presidential campaign. Because of you Mr. President, Joe "The Jerk" Lieberman was spared the revenge he deserved from the Democratic Party, and he is still around to cause you and millions of hard-working middle-class Americans a lot of pain and frustration. What are you going to do about it Mr. President?

    December 15, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  8. Chris - Denver

    Who cares if it passes now that all of the good ideas have been stripped out of it by cowardly democrats and obstructionist rebuplicans. what remains is just a giveaway of tax dollars to wealthy insurance industry fat-cats.

    December 15, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  9. MatthewDetroit

    They DONT care whats in it...
    They DONT care what it states...
    They DONT care what it costs...
    They HAVE NOT read it....
    But yep the dems are sure happy they are passing another spending bill. Great job idiots. Great job.
    Why not question it a little. Why not read it first. 3000 pages all formulated behind closed doors.
    Bribing people to vote for it.
    Twisting arms to vote for it.
    No one reads it but we are forced to accept it.
    This is very bad. This is unconstitutional and we should stop it now.

    December 15, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  10. Dan

    so now we're all going to hell in handbasket, dead broke and socialists too. we need a revolution

    December 15, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  11. MatthewDetroit

    Great Picture of a room full of idiots led to the top by Idiot # 1.

    Can you believe this clown.
    He will clearly go down in history as the worst president of all time.
    I sure am glad they got out the vote and he won.
    He is a disservice to america and to black american everywhere.
    He has proved to be a fraud and a socialist.

    He does not believe in the USA. He does not believe in the Constitution.
    And his wife is a bitter bitter black woman who has never been proud of the US. It really says a lot about how we hold people down and not let the truly smart rise to the top.

    December 15, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  12. RobK

    Never mind the details, just pass a bill so that we can check it off and get on to wrecking something else. Great!

    December 15, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  13. MatthewDetroit

    They threatened Nelson to shut down the Strategic Air Command in Nebraska and close down the base....

    That is how Rahm forces people.
    Dirty back office politics.
    Totally immoral and wrong.

    December 15, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  14. Dave

    Insurance lobbyists won, the People lost. Its becoming quite clear that both the GOP and Democratic parties are in the pocket of insurance, big pharma, oil companies, banks...etc etc. Everything for corporate america, nothing for the People. The American People have been abandoned. Obama and the Dems suck just like the Republicans. America is lost...There is no hope.

    December 15, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  15. Laura, Boston MA

    May I ask one question? Why is the President only ever meeting with Senate Democrats? May I remind him that the people of this country voted for the Republican Senators as well and when the POTUS only meets with the Democratic Senators, he is in affect turning his back on the population who are Republican or Independants.

    You wonder why nothing gets done!

    December 15, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  16. RobK

    The bill does very little to contain costs. The only reason it adds little to the deficit is because they've shifted the costs on to someone else. The liberals would rather avoid the difficult matter of cost containment when they can just raise taxes, especially if they can stick it to the evil business owners and investors.

    December 15, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  17. JS007

    President Obama had a choice: stand up for real solutions like Medicare for all and start a war with the corrupt, bought-off Senators like Lieberman, all of the GOP, and 5 to 10 Democrats, which would put his whole agenda in jeopardy, OR put up with this baby step forward which saves lives but really does not address the issue of spiraling costs. American politics is just too corrupt – I can’t imagine how disgusted the President must feel. Oh wait, I can, because I feel the same. Joe Lieberman better come through BIG on the issue of climate change or he should be drummed out of Washington and stripped of all his perks.

    December 15, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  18. ww in IL

    Go Mr President make it happen so you can deal with the economy...the mess that Bush and his Adm got us into.

    December 15, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  19. jrzshor

    Obama said ...simply cannot let differences over specific elements of the [health care] plan like billions and billions of bone crunching debt stop this important thing that will make me the president who could.

    yeh, obama. you did it! you made change...for a trillion dollars.

    December 15, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  20. RobK

    The best thing for this country would be if everyone lost their insurance and had to pay the doctors/hospitals/drug companies directly out of their pocket. That would eliminate insurance company profits and fraud in the insurance game. Plus it would bring costs down by forcing the players to compete against each other, rather than cozying up to the insurance company sugar daddy, who, if the liberals get their way, would be the federal government, with its unlimited thirst for redistribution of wealth through tax policy .

    December 15, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  21. Jane/Seattle

    TAKE OUT THE MANDITORY CLAUSES because it is pure Extortion!

    December 15, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  22. Phil

    God help us all if this passes. I guess I better just start cashing my paycheck and handing it out as soon as I get it. God forbid I actually have control of my money and have control of my own choices.

    December 15, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  23. JES

    As always they don't listen to the majority of the people out there.

    You can't take care of everyone it's about time the country wakes up and see.

    All I see is give give and take take nothing in return except more debt for our future tax payers to give.

    December 15, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  24. Eric

    Who really cares? Health Care Reform as it stands is a sham. Who ultimately benefits from this bill? Health Insurance Companies and Pharmaceutical companies. What was the intent of the bill? To make sure we don't spend too much money?

    I thought it was to provide quality affordable health care to all Americans? This is just another smoke and mirror show that will end up driving up costs for Americans and profits for big insurers and Pharma. The democrats are weak and corrupt and republicans are just immoral.

    This is more about priorities than it is about any right to health care or whether or not we can afford it. If Americans don't care about other Americans why does any of this matter? This country is owned by big money and we're all slaves to greed. The illusion is that the people have a voice.

    December 15, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  25. Ben in Texas

    Our president is an optimist. Howard Dean is closer to the truth when he says it's time to scrap the Senate bill. That bill has dropped below the threshold of measurable reform. It is now meaningless.

    Democrats have failed to pass real health insurance reform. Repugnants have failed the country. Repugnants will pay more dearly for their failure.

    December 15, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
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