The Obamacare echo chamber: Neither side will budge
September 28th, 2013
11:16 AM ET
10 months ago

The Obamacare echo chamber: Neither side will budge

WASHINGTON (CNN) - As a potential government shutdown inched closer Saturday morning, the Obama administration reiterated that it will not negotiate with Republicans over delaying the president's signature health care law.

A day after President Barack Obama said any attempt to "gut" or repeal the Affordable Care Act "will not happen under the threat of a shutdown," a White House official echoed the commander-in-chief, telling CNN's Jim Acosta a continuing resolution that alters or delays Obamacare will not merit the president's signature.


"I don't think the president could have been any more clear," the official said, in reference to Obama's comments Friday.

Arriving at the Capitol to prepare for a noon meeting with his caucus, Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, again slipped into his mantra of late, declaring himself a "happy warrior" to reporters. Despite the speaker's nom de guerre, it appears as if both sides remain unwilling and unable to move towards a compromise. Responding to Obama's Friday remarks, Brendan Buck, a spokesman for the Ohio Republican, blasted the president for refusing to negotiate with House Republicans and assailed Obama's comments as "grandstanding" that "won't bring Congress any closer to a resolution."

The administration's staunch refusal to negotiate would seem to render potential bargaining points under consideration by the House Republican caucus as non-starters. A source within the Republican Party told CNN's Dana Bash on Friday night that options being examined by the GOP-controlled lower chamber include delaying the health care legislation one year, eliminating the Independent Payment Advisory Board - commonly referred to by right-wing partisans as "death panels" - and repealing a tax on medical devices.

Two House Republican sources informed Bash Saturday morning that a vote on a continuing resolution is likely sometime today. The sources say the bill would include delaying Obamacare for a year or a repealing the medical device tax.

White House press secretary Jay Carney is already on the record saying the president would reject doing away with the medical device tax if it were included in a stopgap spending bill. Adam Jentleson, a spokesman for Harry Reid, D-Nevada,also weighed in on behalf of his boss, relaying that the Senate majority leader thinks the Republican proposal is "stupid." Even the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, Orrin Hatch, who helped write the medical device tax repeal, agrees that it's the wrong time to push for axing the tax and opponents of the measure would be better served waiting until the mid-October debt ceiling fight.

soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. What's in that tea anyway?

    And the RWNJ's continue to believe by some wild notion the country will vote them back into national control of the country. ? ....let's just say.... "Not in this millenium" GOP/Tea Trolls. You guys lost miserably 11 months ago. The most likely outcome is the GOP will see the WH some where during the next generation. Now, get to work until you get your pink slips in 2014

    September 28, 2013 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  2. What's in that tea anyway?

    GOP/Tea Baggers strategy.... implode the economy. ...absolutely genius. What a great way to get rid of yourselves Tea folks. Americans everywhere Thank You for your patriotism (sarcasm)

    September 28, 2013 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  3. Mike from Texas

    I'm gettin' kind of sick of the G.O.P.'s B.S. If they want to shut down the government I say let them!! And let the chips fall where they may. This is really a culture war despite what everybody says and they have been wanting to punish their enemies for a long time. They don't want smaller government,they want to rule and since they could not accomplish in a legitimate way they are going to break everything. I say to hell with them! Its gonna hurt them a lot worse than it hurts us. Make no mistake tho it will hurt everybody and we will remember.

    September 28, 2013 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  4. luke,az

    I'm waiting for the Republican party to implode. When are the moderate Republicans going to take back their party. Where are you Colin Powell ? These tea party cowards can't even start their own party, instead they have infected the Republican party. The tea party is ruining our country !

    September 28, 2013 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  5. Tampa Tim

    Republicans have been bragging for months that they will shut down the government. Soon the crazy right wingnuts will be cheering that they finished off the job that W could not, destroy our country.

    September 28, 2013 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  6. bill

    thank you obama. my health premium went up 48%.

    September 28, 2013 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  7. Tampa Tim

    Premiums will continue to go up in those red states who fail to implement the ACA. @bill, doesn't it make you feel good that 40 million more people will have access to health care?

    September 28, 2013 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  8. ST

    Who are these teabaggers are intending to play with? They have been playing the same game for now 42 times, I repeat 42 times. Now they think because it is the end of the physical year, they can take that advantage? All of you teabaggers, I say go to hell. No one is going to bow to your demands. You lost election, you lost the ACA fight when the Supreme Court intervened, and you will continue to lose no matter what.

    September 28, 2013 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  9. don in albuquerque

    @Mike in Texas-Spot on!!!!

    September 28, 2013 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  10. Gurgyl

    Buy in Healthcare exchanges–not thru private insurences.

    September 28, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  11. Keep Fear ALive

    hey Bill, stop lying.. or show us last years and this years premium ... and lets face it, a man is a big skyscraper, making millions of dollars in salary at a health provider rose you rates ... try shopping at teh exchanges in the AAffordable Care Act.. Bet you get a better deal under Obamacare !!! try it , you'll like it ! .. and stop trying to ruin MY COUNTRY ... or get the hell out and move to China if you hate this country so much ...

    September 28, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  12. Keep Fear ALive

    Michelle Bachman took $250,000. in Tax Subsidies from us... the TAXPAYERS, because she's a wealth landowner that like to spend OUR money on HER Farm Subsidies ... she .. and her She-husband ....

    September 28, 2013 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  13. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Stand tall Mr. President. That's the only way to deal with psychotic bullys!

    September 28, 2013 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  14. Hannah

    This is what happens when you have a weak and incompetent President with no leadership skills.
    Add to that a driveling and ineffective opposition leader , too many senators and members of congress who are more interested in serving their party than the people who elected them.
    Yes , you have to clean house and elect some new and smarter and less extreme right and left thinking Public servants , that will get you back on the middle of the road and move your country forward.

    September 28, 2013 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  15. Keep Fear ALive

    she did that while cutting the Snap program that feeds children ... wich of course makes her a .....

    September 28, 2013 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  16. Barbara Corliss

    For those Republicans screaming that the President is negotiating with Iran, but not the Republicans, I offer this:

    Republicans STILL have their hands clenched!!!!! Iran does not.

    September 28, 2013 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  17. ThinkAgain

    Why should those of us who support Obamacare budge? It's law upheld by the Supreme Court. I live in a state that is ready with its exchanges and for many years has been on the leading edge of finding ways to provide subsidized healthcare for our poorest population. And guess what? My state is realizing a couple 100 million $$ in savings this year.

    Only fools are fighting Obamacare. Pretty much sums up the GOP in general, doesn't it?

    September 28, 2013 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  18. Bessy

    Don't let them blackmail you Mr. President. Let them shut the country down and see where that gets them. Right out on the unemployment lines, next election, I would guess. Once the American people see how this new Obamacare is helping them the Republicans are toast.

    September 28, 2013 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  19. ThinkAgain

    @bill: "thank you obama. my health premium went up 48%."

    Your insurance company raised its rates, not Obamacare. And you should check to see if you qualify for a subsidy. Also, take a look at your lifestyle: Are you a smoker? Are you obese? These are things under your control – and if you make changes, your rates may go down. The rest of us will thank you, BTW; I really don't enjoy paying for people who don't take responsibility for their health ...

    September 28, 2013 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  20. Joan

    Maybe the Senate could send back a bill to the Congress with two additions- pass mandatory background checks on all gun sales and prohibit the sale of all assault weapons in America. Do you think the Republicans would stand for that? Fat chance. The Republicans picked the wrong way to attack Obamacare and the majority of their politicians know it but have let the minority in their party rule the roost. Serves then right.

    September 28, 2013 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  21. Dallas

    Stand your ground Mr. President. Don't be intimidated by these tea bag thugs. You are on the right side of history and tthey are nothing but obstructionist zealots..

    September 28, 2013 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  22. CAWinMD

    "Responding to Obama's Friday remarks, Brendan Buck, a spokesman for the Ohio Republican, blasted the president for refusing to negotiate with House Republicans and assailed Obama's comments as "grandstanding" that "won't bring Congress any closer to a resolution."

    This is hilarious on two levels. First off, House Republicans demanded the Senate pass a budget, which the Senate did by April 15. Over 5 months ago. The senate put forth nominees for the conference to resolve differences between the budget bills in order to get to a single budget bill. You know, the vaunted 'regular order' that Boehner claimed to want House Republicans refused. 5 months wasted. Now they want to negotiate? Take a hike.

    Second level, last time I checked, Obama isn't a part of Congress. I'm pretty sure Boehner said that it is Congress' job to pass bills, and the President's job to sign bills. If Congress can't get their act together, that has absolutely zero to do with Obama. If Boehner doesn't have the cojones to actually control his caucus, that isn't Obama's problem. And Republicans say that Obama likes to shift blame.

    September 28, 2013 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  23. deborah

    Seems to me the GOP is angling for one thing only: delay Obamacare one year so it won't be implemented until after the 2014 elections; with no success stories about people with better insurance to contradict wild rumors perhaps GOP can take Senate and keep House.

    September 28, 2013 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  24. GOP = Greed Over People

    Thank you, President Obama, my health premium went down 36% AND there is no lifetime cap, no limit on co-pay visits and lower co-pays, no 10,000 deductible and that is at the Silver level.

    September 28, 2013 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  25. Fair is fair

    Shut it down. Only way to stop this clown

    September 28, 2013 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
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