March 1st, 2010
05:26 PM ET
5 years ago

Obama likely to announce new health care strategy Wednesday

The president is likely to announce a new strategy for passing health care reform legislation on Wednesday, according to White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.
The president is likely to announce a new strategy for passing health care reform legislation on Wednesday, according to White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.

Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama is likely to lay out a political road map Wednesday for passage of sweeping health care legislation, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Monday.

Gibbs said the president will talk about "the way forward" to pass a bill. Among other things, Obama is expected to advocate for an "up or down vote" in Congress if necessary, Gibbs added.

Multiple Democratic sources have told CNN that the emerging consensus plan is for the House of Representatives to pass the Senate bill and send it to Obama. A package of changes that mirror the president's plan would then be passed through both chambers under reconciliation rules, which require only 51 votes in the Senate.

Democrats lost their 60-vote, filibuster-proof Senate majority in January, when GOP Sen. Scott Brown won the Massachusetts Senate seat previously held by the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, a Democrat.

Observers note, however, that it remains unclear exactly which health care provisions can be approved under reconciliation, which is reserved for legislation pertaining to the budget. Republicans have angrily criticized the Democrats' potential use of reconciliation, arguing that the maneuver was never intended to be used for major policy overhauls along the lines of the health care bill.

Obama's mid-week remarks will also deal with the "substance" of health care reform, Gibbs added. White House aides say the president's speech will largely mirror the nearly $1 trillion compromise package Obama laid out one week ago. It may, however, be scaled back in some aspects, they added.

soundoff (58 Responses)
  1. Bedtime for Obonzo

    Good luck with that. The more-radical House bill passed by only five votes last year. Since then, death and retirement have reduced that number. In order to make reconciliation work, the House first has to pass the Senate bill "as is," complete with the Louisiana Purchase and Cornhusker Kickback, and with abortion language that's not acceptable to at least 15 House Democrats. Any Blue Dog Democrats want to keep their jobs? Anyone care to lay odds on passage? I'll give you three to one, against.

    March 1, 2010 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  2. Read the constitution

    Obama strategy= put US in generational debt, with no way of digging out, while appeasing unions and cronies.

    Stop this garbage...Obama...listen to your "friend" warren buffet...he says ditch the bill!

    March 1, 2010 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  3. Brainskip

    As soon as I saw the pic of Dick Cheney I didn't even read this. If he will shot someone in the face he would shot someone the finger.

    March 1, 2010 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  4. Four and The Door

    If this is Obama's choice, Americans will never forgive him for blowing $1 trillion to ruin the world's best health care industry because he is unwilling to back out of back room deals made when Democrats had a supermajority in the Senate. There's a reason Massachusetts sent a Republican to take Ted Kennedy's seat and it wasn't because Coakly ran a poor campaign. It was a clear message and he is apparently choosing not to listen.

    March 1, 2010 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    I can hardly wait to see how much we're going to get screwed.

    March 1, 2010 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  6. Mike in MN

    Obama and the Democrats are busy trying to figure out how to cram this down the throats of voters who don't want it.
    At the same time I understand Republicans are busy looking at how to dismantle the parts voters don't like when angry voters restore them to power in November and in 2012.
    GO REPUBLICANS!!!!!

    March 1, 2010 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  7. Wake Up

    Obama- America doesn't want govt. take over of our excellent health care.
    We don't want more debt, and more lies. Govt can't run anything !!

    March 1, 2010 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  8. Daniel

    Whatever happened to jobs was #1 on the list? Whatever happened to nothing but a real vote in the Senate after Brown was elected?

    You liberals can't defend him anymore and you know it. This healthcare is nothing more than a sham and a way to take money from people who work hard. This does nothing but shove our tax dollars into the system and shove everyone in to a bloated system without addressing the COSTS. The insurance industry averages 2% profit margin. I dare anyone to go out and try to sell a business plan with a 2% return. Oh yeah, you libs don't understand anything other than "gimme gimme gimme".

    The president is a liar and you libs are all his little sheep.

    March 1, 2010 05:51 pm at 5:51 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    go,obama,go

    March 1, 2010 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  10. Leslie

    You go Obama. Push it through. Use reconciliation. Don't let the Repubs win, PLEASE!

    March 1, 2010 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  11. Preston

    Republicans are very good at angry. As far as I can tell, it's about all they're good at.

    March 1, 2010 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  12. NC

    Get the bill done and signed. Never trust republicans again to vote for anything. They want our President and our Country to fail. Republicans in the house and senate should be tried for treason.

    March 1, 2010 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  13. LouieLou

    Way to go, What is good for the geese, it's good to the gander! Democrat have my vote, now and in November. Representatives and SenatorsStand up and be counted. More people than you think will be behind you come election time.

    March 1, 2010 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  14. OldUncleTom

    First, Scott Brown is a more reliable Democrat than Joe Liebermann.

    Second, the House majority whip needs to bring one to work for a while. If the House can pass the Senate bill (holding their noses if they must), then both houses can work with the President to pass adjusting legislation to get rid of the worst excesses of the Baucus bill.

    It would be interesting to see a GOP filibuster on repeal of the things nearly everyone opposes in the Senate package, like the stinky deals made with Nebraska and Louisiana.

    March 1, 2010 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  15. Josefina Brown

    Another speech? That'll do it.

    March 1, 2010 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  16. JES

    How about scrap what you have and start all over or do you even care what the people of this Country says.

    March 1, 2010 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  17. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    Has Obama flipped out completely? A year of being the Prez has smoked his brain?

    Just drop it, Barry! A majority of the people in this country don't want what you're trying to sell, and if you think the "town hall meetings" last year were ugly, just wait and see what happens if you and Congress play tyrant with reconciliation.

    Reconciliation will be political suicide for the Democratic Party–it will be decades before America trusts the Democrats again. Yes, the GOP screwed things up badly, but they didn't betray the trust of the American people anywhere near as badly, or as personally, as destroying American health care will.

    March 1, 2010 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  18. Fiscal Responsibility

    So will the repackaged version be placed on a transparent site allowing for proper time to evaluate changes, or did they just wipe pelosi's froth off the edges and they are going ahead with their unconstitutional power shuft masquarading as health care

    March 1, 2010 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  19. Mack

    I wouldn't trust our Supreme leader with healthcare or anything else of importance. He has proven to be imcomptent at every turn.

    March 1, 2010 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  20. Kate

    I think the dems ought to go for reconciliation in passing the health bill.
    It was okay for the republicans to use reconciliation when giving the wealthy thier tax cuts under Bush. The tax cuts added more to the deficit than the health care bill add to it.

    March 1, 2010 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  21. Sniffit

    Pass it with that Stupak/Nelson abortion rights limiting crap or without a public option and you lose my vote in 2012, Mr. President, and I've been with you all the way. It's about time the Dems started threatening to take the ball chuck it at the GOP's collective swelled head (who said anything about going home?). Enough is enough with the tapdancing tomfoolery from Limbaugh's GPS (GOPer Positioning System) and his troglodyte minions. If this is going to get done without a supermajority voting for it, just simple majority rules democracy (i.e., reconciliation), then grow a pair and do it the way you promised.

    March 1, 2010 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  22. single mom

    The Democrats really don't get it. They lost a seat with the election of Brown and are in danger of losing more – Reid in Nevada, Boxer in the bastion of liberalism – CA for heaven's sake!, and possibly even the seats formerly held by the Pres. and VP. And that's not even counting the House side of things.

    Open up the internal state to state borders to health insurance – let companies do it the way they do car insurance. Make sure all children are covered if their parents can't or won't. Take care of our military veterans and seniors. But don't force something down the throats of Americans when they've clearly said 'No!'

    March 1, 2010 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  23. How To Bankrupt America-Put Democrats On It

    I want Obama to fail,I am sick of the O Great One,The Mezziah,The One That Parts The Red Sea and his CRADLE TO THE GRAVE concept of socialism.I am sick of paying for all the freeloaders that the Dems court for votes.Pay your own way ,quit expecting the government to provide,and quit dropping "government" babies like acorns falling from a tree.

    March 1, 2010 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  24. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    I hope President Obama sticks it to the Republicans like they are sticking it to the American people on the jobs bill. Bunning is an example of a Republican who should never be in the political arena, but I bet his check is in the mail and we pay him.

    March 1, 2010 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  25. AJ

    Conservatives shouldnt worry, he'll aproach this in the same lackluster manner that he goes at with everything else and healthcare reform will go down the tubes. What a fiasco.

    March 1, 2010 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
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