Weekly addresses: GOP sticks to health care, Obama pivots to the economy
November 23rd, 2013
06:00 AM ET
9 months ago

Weekly addresses: GOP sticks to health care, Obama pivots to the economy

(CNN) – While Republicans continued on the anti-Obamacare offensive, President Barack Obama largely pivoted away from the troubled rollout of Healthcare.gov, instead focusing his address on the economy.

Texas Republican Rep. Michael Burgess, a physician and vice chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, called the Affordable Care Act a "train wreck for doctors, a train wreck for patients, and most importantly, it's a train wreck for the American people."

"It has now become clear that the reality of the president's health care law does not match what he promised: A website that was launched before it was finished. Waves of cancellation letters. The sticker shock of high premiums, coupled with ever-increasing deductibles," Burgess said in the GOP weekly address released Saturday.

Technical glitches barred many Americans from signing up through the federal online healthcare marketplace since the site's October 1 launch. Obama and administration officials have admitted they "fumbled" the rollout of the website and promised significant improvements to its functionality by the end of the month.

In addition to Americans having trouble accessing the site, many have reported losing their plans despite a promise from the administration that if you had an insurance plan you liked, you could keep it under the act.

The President has since announced a legislative fix to the law, allowing some people to remain on their insurance for another year, and Friday extended the sign-up deadline from December 15 to December 23 in order to have coverage at the beginning of next year.

"Over the past couple months, most of the political headlines you've read have probably been about the government shutdown and the launch of the Affordable Care Act," Obama said in his weekly address.

"And I know that many of you have rightly never been more frustrated with Washington. But if you look beyond those headlines, there are some good things happening in our economy. And that's been my top priority since the day I walked into the Oval Office."

Obama continued: "Five years later, we have fought our way back. Our businesses have created 7.8 million new jobs in the past 44 months. Another 200,000 Americans went back to work last month."

Obama touted less dependency on foreign oil, the comeback of the auto industry and his work cutting the nation's deficits.

But the President's address was not without political undertones, jabbing at Republicans for their continued assault on Obamacare and last month's 16-day partial government shutdown.

"Think about what we could do if a reckless few didn't hold the economy hostage every few months, or waste time on dozens of votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act rather than try to help us fix it," he said.


Filed under: Healthcare • House Republicans • Obamacare • President Obama
soundoff (57 Responses)
  1. Rogerd

    The President's pivot to the economy is disingenuous. At no point does he cite any policies or programs his administration has put into place which spurred any economic growth. He doesn't mention the almost $1 trillion in federal spending that did nothing t spur growth but did everything to put many state and local governments further behind in their recovery efforts; many of which are near bankruptcy today. Much of today's economic growth is the private sector stewardship of cost controls and internal improvements to delivery shareholder value. Sound economic policies and smart regulations will unleash the private sector to invest "parked" capital into technology, product development and jobs. Mr. President, get out of the way...we handed you the keys and we're still in the same rut; It's time for you to pivot.

    November 23, 2013 06:14 am at 6:14 am |
  2. jpmichigan

    Obamacaare is not going any where, Mr. President literally. It will be the downfall of your Presidency and of the Democratic control of the Senate. You and the Democratic Party played your hand , in order to provide care for the minority of Americans,have been cared for already by the majority of Tax paying Americans, you taken away from those who trusted you, voted for you, their healthcare. You practice political polices like a community organized more so that as an President.

    November 23, 2013 07:51 am at 7:51 am |
  3. Tigas

    Wasn't the government shutdown caused by Obama's and Reid's refusal to negotiate on Obamacare. Now that the Obamacare has started, it is far worse of a train wreck than ever expected.

    November 23, 2013 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  4. Gurgyl

    I have been telling nothing wrong with ACA. IT IS A LAW. Period.

    November 23, 2013 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  5. J Lohr

    The GOP weekly address this week by Rep. Burgess of Texas was of interest to me – a curiosity. I keep expecting a Republican solution. Instead it's the same old message – Scrap it; Start over. But what will their solution look like? President John F. Kennedy said about going to the moon that Americans don't do easy. they do hard. Healthcare is hard. Republicans talk about doing hard, but that's all is, talk. Republicans don't do hard.

    November 23, 2013 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  6. HenryMiller

    "GOP sticks to health care, Obama pivots to the economy"

    It's sad when Obama has to "pivot to" the thing he's screwed up less in order to try to distract people from what he's screwed up more.

    Actually, it's sad—for the country—that Obama can't discuss anything at all without referring to something he's screwed up. So far as I can remember, this twerp hasn't done a single positive thing in five years—and watching on TV while bin Laden was popped doesn't count.

    November 23, 2013 09:14 am at 9:14 am |
  7. Wire Palladin, S.F.

    I am sick of the train wreck crap and lies they are spouting off. The GOP is basing their entire 2014 mid terms for 6 tenths of one percent who have to change to policies to those that conform to the law. It is further troubling that republican doctors march out and basically violate the Hippocratic Oath, their oath to our country, and only honor the oath to Norquist and the Kochs.

    November 23, 2013 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  8. Wire Palladin, S.F.

    Fire Trey Radel! If he was arrested In his home district, Florida's 19th district, he would now be doing jail time. Our rep in congress is a convicted druggie, and our governor is an unconvicted medicaid scammer. Quite a tribute to the FL GOP.

    November 23, 2013 09:38 am at 9:38 am |
  9. My name is

    Obama is a two term president! The best we've had in a long time in this country. Imagine if racism didn't exist, what he'd be able to accomplish. The man is a gift to this country, and vice versa. We need mor leaders with his resolve.

    One thing I wish he would bring into the conversation is.... The good old GOP mantra of 2010-2011-2012, "Obamacare is a job killer..." He should ask the GOP how many jobs exactly would. Obamacare kill. Because so far, our stock market has never been better, 7.8 million jobs created in the last 44 months, and counting... And the federal deficit has shriveled compared to where it was when he took office. So the GOP owes the president and the American people an apology, if you ask me.

    November 23, 2013 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  10. freedom

    No matter what issue Obama tries to run to or hide behind – it's all linked to Obamacare – it affects the economy in the biggest way – and hits to the core of our human rights and freedoms in this nation. You OWN it – along with every democrat. Reminder: not one republican voted for this disaster.

    November 23, 2013 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  11. Evergreen

    If Congress would now turn their "laser focus" on the economy we will all have a better New Year. Unfortunantely, the GOP believe a better economy will not help them win in 2014.

    November 23, 2013 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  12. Suel Forrester

    "Think about what we could do if a reckless few didn't hold the economy hostage every few months, or waste time on dozens of votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act rather than try to help us fix it,"

    Well, maybe if the president hadn't lied to us about the monstrosity that is Obamacare, it wouldn't need to be fixed. Maybe there could have been actual debate and committee hearings to try to come up with something that actually worked. As it is we're stuck with an absolute POS that will go down in history as Obama's signature "achievement." I'm just amazed that people still support this clueless rube.

    November 23, 2013 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  13. Thomas

    @Tigas
    Wasn't the government shutdown caused by Obama's and Reid's refusal to negotiate on Obamacare. Now that the Obamacare has started, it is far worse of a train wreck than ever expected.

    =====

    Your wrong , it was a Jr Senator from Texas named Ted Cruz .

    Don't you remember when he read GREEN EGGS AND HAM ?

    November 23, 2013 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  14. Wire Palladin, S.F.

    As more and more people are signing up for the ACA, remember, not one republican voted to support the 45 million who are uninsured. Further, no republican voted support for our 900,000 veterans who had their food stamps cut by congressional inaction.

    November 23, 2013 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  15. Wire Palladin, S.F.

    It amazes me that anyone, other than the brain dead, even support the GOP.

    November 23, 2013 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  16. Wire Palladin, S.F.

    Without Obamacare, under Bush in 2008, we lost 8 million jobs. Under Obama, we have seen job growth of 8 million. I think the RWNJs should stop with this job killer crap.

    November 23, 2013 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  17. Thomas

    @freedom
    No matter what issue Obama tries to run to or hide behind – it's all linked to Obamacare – it affects the economy in the biggest way – and hits to the core of our human rights and freedoms in this nation. You OWN it – along with every democrat. Reminder: not one republican voted for this disaster.

    =======

    Wheres the JOBS , Dow hits record Hi !
    It's very sad your thinking is so limited in economic fundamentals .

    A strong country , must have affordable healthcare to keep a strong economy . It might be hard for you to understand , they go together like red beans and rice .

    Stability and peace of mind means economic growth and quality of life .

    Until your party has any new ideas or visions other then using freedom as a sound bite for doing nothing . You might want to pray for acceptance and guidance .

    November 23, 2013 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  18. Wire Palladin, S.F.

    Why is Issa refusing to have those who were helped by the ACA testify in his witch hunt? The best way to sum up the GOP playbook for 2014 was posted yesterday, "fumble."

    November 23, 2013 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  19. Tampa Tim

    The Dow soars over 16,000, over 7 million jobs created, wars ending, no new war with Iraq, auto industry saved, housing industry rebounds, and more. According to baggers, these issues are a direct result of Obamacare

    November 23, 2013 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  20. Gunderson

    Aw,So,
    Economy has big Albotross around neck. Economy sick. Get rid Obama Care, economy get well. Hint. Liberal's slowly backing out of Obama Care. They just not admit it. Replacement plan? You in charge of that.

    November 23, 2013 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  21. wendel

    The repos will stick to their play book because they have no plans and no goals except to derail this president. Already more people are signing up for health care. This won't help every one but it will the majority. Repos don't understand majority. Like with the senate or the presidential election. The party is lead by a bunch of clowns and preaches to the uninformed. Economy should be at the top of the list right now. President right to go back to it. Immigration seems to be dead in congress right now. Oh yeah they are on vacation again. If the president took as many or as long of a vacation as the repo congress they would be falling all over themselves to complain. Oh and They need a vacation because of all the work they have done. Aside from shutting down the government and costing the tax payers 24 billion dollars.

    November 23, 2013 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  22. barryinlasvegas

    This is the 50th time Obama has pivoted to the economy. Frankly, he wants to pivot to anything that will distract Americans from seeing Obamacare for the disaster that it is. We can expect another 150 pivots to different subjects between now and November 2014.

    November 23, 2013 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  23. Panagiotaropoulos

    Texan Republicans from the state with the highest number of uninsured citizens are clearly in good standing to lecture us about healthcare access.

    November 23, 2013 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  24. Randy, San Francisco

    Republican Tea Partiers just don't get it. They just can't say NO to everthing. Campaigning against the ACA isn't enough. Why are they ignoring the economy, unemployment, and immigration? They have to give voters reasons to vote for them.

    November 23, 2013 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  25. Kinard

    If you are a republican or consider yourself one of the elite in the country, hang your head in shame. You've been the unwitting accomplice to one of the most heinous crimes in this century. The republicans have stolen everything they've got, and are using you to get it all. You are a dupe. If you let it happen you'll regret it beyond your wildest nightmares.

    November 23, 2013 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
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