March 14th, 2010
08:30 AM ET
3 years ago

Axelrod: Passing health care bill can help Dems in midterms


Washington (CNN) – As Democrats try to make one final push to pass comprehensive health care reform legislation, one of the president’s closest advisers has a message for Democrats who may be wavering during this midterm election year.

“The reality is that we’ve passed these bills through the House and the Senate,” Obama senior adviser David Axelrod said in an interview that airs Sunday on State of the Union. “The Republican candidates are going to campaign against us on it. The question is: We’ve got the vote, are we going to have the achievement? Are we going to have the accomplishment?”

The top Obama adviser also laid out a number of immediate impacts that the White House says will result from passage of the legislation, including prohibiting insurance companies from excluding coverage of pre-existing conditions in children, ending lifetime and annual caps on coverage, closing of the so-called “doughnut hole” in Medicare’s prescription drug coverage, shoring up the financial solvency of the Medicare system, and giving tax credits to small business.

Then, Axelrod suggested that enacting health care reform could help Democrats in November’s elections by forcing Republicans to run against those immediate changes.

“If they want to have that fight, let’s have that fight,” he told CNN Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley.

During the interview, Axelrod, who was one of Obama’s top strategists during the presidential campaign, also took a shot at some leading Capitol Hill Republicans over their recent comments about the effect supporting health care reform could have in November’s midterms.

“[Senate Minority Leader] Mitch McConnell has been generous. [House Minority Leader] John Boehner has been generous in giving advice to Democrats about how perilous this vote [on health care reform] is. I wonder what their motivations are in offering us advice about how to strengthen our party,” Axelrod said.

And Axelrod also predicted that Democrats would ultimately be successful in achieving one of Obama’s top priorities on his domestic agenda.

“We’re very optimistic about the outcome of this process,” Axelrod said when asked about the president’s recent decision to delay an overseas trip in order to be in Washington when a health care vote is expected in the House. “I think that people have come to the realization that this is the moment and if we don’t act now there’ll be dire consequences for people all over this country.”

Axelrod added, “I think we will have the votes to pass this.”

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Filed under: 2010 • David Axelrod • Health care • Popular Posts • State of the Union
soundoff (93 Responses)
  1. An 8 year old ELEPHANT dung heap, does not transform into compost in just 1 year!

    Yes it will and not passing it will just hand a victory club to the cons.

    This club will be used against all Democrats whether they tend toward "blue" or not.

    You blue dogs need to get on board, cuz if you think not voting for it will save your jobs, you are mistaken.

    Tip: Blue Blanche's new contender raised over $150,000 in the first 8 hours of his campaign.

    March 14, 2010 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  2. double standard

    If it doesn't pass I will not vote for a Dem.ever again !!

    March 14, 2010 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  3. Republicans are Repugnant Taliban

    Absolutely right, if the Democrats finally pull this one off and show the country they do not need to stupid Repugliban to run this country then it will bode well for the Democrats this Fall. What most people are upset about is not the health care reform but that NOTHING is getting done. In fact, yes a lot of people are upset about the health care reform but over 60% of Americans are upset because it has NO public option which lies directly at the feet of the 'Orange Boner' and the Repugliban party.

    March 14, 2010 08:39 am at 8:39 am |
  4. Willy Brown

    You democrats are toast in 2010. Pass Obama health care aka tax hikes and it will be repealed

    March 14, 2010 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  5. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    That's either wishful thinking or spinning that would do credit to Michelle Kwan.

    March 14, 2010 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  6. annie s

    Yes, it could help. And to every so-called Democrat who votes against this bill, know that those of us who stand for our fellow man, those of us who care about the unnecessary suffering imposed on American citizens due to lack of health insurance, will do everything we possibly can to make sure you are never elected to national office again. I'd rather have a Republican win than a Democrat in name only.

    March 14, 2010 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  7. JonDie

    Only if it has some meaningful changes like a public option, a government agency to control exorbitant insurance profits, and only if it stops insurance companies from dropping subscribers and forces coverage for "pre-existing conditions." Otherwise the health care bill will be a lot of nothing.

    March 14, 2010 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  8. SY

    This bill is a great start to TAKING BACK OUR HEALTH! from insurance companies. But I do agree with one thing coming from AHIP; it's not just the insurance companies hurting us. Next we need to tackle the pharmaceuticals and the hospitals.

    March 14, 2010 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  9. Bill

    Democrats have put themselves in a deep hole. The whole process is corrupt & corruption is the issue. 85% of Americans are happy with what health care they now have. The crisis is manufactured & so is this article. Real journalism is gone at CNN. It is the economy wrecked by 4 years of pelosi, reid & now obama stupid. FIX IT YOU LIARS!

    March 14, 2010 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  10. T'SAH from Virginia

    If this bill DOES NOT pass – yes, the DEMS that are currently in office will PAY by being VOTED out by OUR movement – the movement that is 'perculating' and starting to BREW!!

    Yes – "Coffee – NOT TEA – But YOU and ME". We will elect DEMS into office that will STAND UP for the reasons why they were elected!!

    March 14, 2010 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  11. Hurry November 2 - Please hurry

    The Democrats are cleverly deceptive – hand out the goodies now, and wallop Americans with socialist "health care" later. And, most Americans are stupid enough to fall for the same deceptions, over and over again. That's how Obama got elected. To those who voted for Obama, and now are dismayed by what's happening – you asked for it, you got it.

    March 14, 2010 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  12. CEE

    The insurance Companies are for profit which means it is run on greed, passing this healthcare bill is about helping the people, not a party.

    March 14, 2010 09:04 am at 9:04 am |
  13. Steve-Illinois

    Axelrod is campaigning to get Obamacare passed! He could care less what happens in November! The Republicans will not be campaigning against the parts of the bill, which he mentioned above, that both parties have already publicly stated they agree with. They will be campaigning against all of the unnecessary crap in the bill. If this bill does pass, those opposed will have months to pick it apart, and show the American people how flawed it is. Like Pelosi said, they need to pass it so people can see what's in it. When the people see what's in it, there will be a blood bath for Democrats in November!
    The whole point of rushing to pass this, is due to not wanting Representatives to go on break and find out their constituents are against it! Which is also why they are now waffling on the 72 hour posting of the bill prior to the vote. Change is definitely needed when Congress thinks passing a bad bill for America will be good for their reelection efforts! Many thought the last election would bring the change they had hoped for, it didn't.
    We won't be fooled again!!!!

    Common Sense!

    March 14, 2010 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  14. Pearlie

    The Democracts and GOP really needs to pass the healthcare bill. There are so many people with existing medical problems and are unable to purchase insurance. I am praying and asking God everyday to move the idots that refuses to help out of the way of those who are. Lets get real people and pass this bill.

    March 14, 2010 09:18 am at 9:18 am |
  15. bjohns

    if the dems pass this healthcare reform,without any rebs voting for it i think i will be voting democratic in nov . the rebs are lettng me down not wanting to help people in ned

    March 14, 2010 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  16. dan

    Finally a president that stands behing his word to pass reform.Graet job Mr President

    March 14, 2010 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  17. Ray E.

    Public Options, Government Controls, Kill the Insurance companies and on and on and on.

    Folks, this was tried in the old Soviet Union. IT DIDN'T WORK!!! It was a failure! And the only thing that MAY fix it is a complete meltdown of the system, another depression AND then maybe people will get it right. After 70 plus years of Creeping Socialisim you would think the problem would be fixed. Anyone think the problem is fixed????

    Some people do understand what is happening and are trying to stave off another depression but the inmates are still running the Asylum. Better wise up people.

    March 14, 2010 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  18. Bill in VA

    I am stymied by how the GOP is able to control the minds of their less-well-to-do followers with bumper sticker politics. Socialist health care? If so, then all GOP congressmen and women should give up the Public Option that they benefit from thanks to the munificence of the American taxpayer. If the GOP had had a plan for health reform they had many years to try to fix it. Did they? Nyet. I am not happy with how this process has gone but I very much want to see this bill pass and then tweak away at making it right downline. For those who say the Obama Administration is trying to ram this through the system, I say "Ram, Bam, thank you, Man! Put that on the bumper sticker.

    March 14, 2010 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  19. liz

    I hope the republican'ts do campaign on repealing health reform, because what they'll be campaigning for is crippling premium increases and going back to forty thousand people a year dying from lack of insurance. that will show the American people exactly what they think of them, nothing! Democrats are fighting for the American people and it's about time the whiners and haters saw the republicans for what they really are, the champions of the rich and powerful. all they want from working class and poor people is their votes to keep them in power so they can continue to screw the poor and working class. there are two types of republican, the rich and the suckers.

    March 14, 2010 09:24 am at 9:24 am |
  20. GI Joe

    Who is running against Boehner? I want to contribute to their campaign.

    March 14, 2010 09:26 am at 9:26 am |
  21. FM

    My fellow Dems, let us continue making history. Once the Health Care Reform bill is passed, no one is going to stop us.

    March 14, 2010 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  22. dan

    The Gop doesnt care period about people.How can you morons not see this.

    March 14, 2010 09:30 am at 9:30 am |
  23. Jane

    The only thing it will fix is them losing their high paid jobs.

    March 14, 2010 09:31 am at 9:31 am |
  24. WeThePeopleofVirginia

    People will be voted out of office because of pocketbook issues and the the comfortless representation by our elected officials the American public feels.

    People will be voted out of office because the voice of We The People has been sidelined to special interest.

    People will be voted out of office because of Capital Hill corruption and insider deals.

    People will be voted out of office because WE JUST DON'T TRUST YOU ANY LONGER.

    March 14, 2010 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
  25. Mike

    I thought axelrod was supposed to be bright. If he really believes this then he is dumber than a sack of hammers. We will clean house in November and finish the job in 2012.

    March 14, 2010 09:32 am at 9:32 am |
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