Weekly addresses: GOP sticks to health care, Obama pivots to the economy
November 23rd, 2013
06:00 AM ET
10 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. Katie B

    I just finished signing up at Healthcare.gov and I'm going to save nearly $130/month for a better policy. I'm so happy! My deductible is going from $5000/yr down to $500/yr, my prescriptions are going to be $80/month less, and my doctor is in the network. Woohoo!!!

    I got one of those "cancellation" letters from my insurance company and they tried to put me in a plan that would've cost nearly three times what I had been paying. Thank goodness I didn't just roll over and take it! Anyone who gets one of those letters and doesn't check out the ACA options is throwing away money. For the 5% of the population that buys on the individual market 90% will qualify for some level of subsidy. So if you hear someone complaining about getting "cancelled", be sure they know they don't have to accept the insurance company's suggestion. They'll thank you for it.

    November 23, 2013 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  2. Mike Feehan

    ***Where is he getting this 7.8 million jobs when the worker participation rate is the lowest that it has been since 1979??? This empty suit continues to place blame on others for his total incompetence....It is really a JOKE....

    November 23, 2013 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  3. Catmandew

    The only reason stocks are up is fed support, the deficit is obviously up because the debt ceiling has to get raised every 3 or so months. Job creation isn't the governments job. As far as beurcratic red tape this administration has created tons of it for anyone trying to start a business. And in the process of all this taken millions of people's healthcare coverage away. Millions of unemployed people's unemployment benefits are running out and then they drop off the map and that's why those numbers are starting to look better. Pretty much sums the state of our country up.

    November 23, 2013 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  4. Fair is fair

    Liberals are so uneducated that you have to lie to them. That's all they understand.

    November 23, 2013 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  5. ThinkAgain: The GOP owes our nation $24 billion

    "Weekly Addresses: GOP Continues to Stick it to U.S.; President Obama Continues Working for U.S."

    FIFY

    November 23, 2013 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  6. ThinkAgain: The GOP owes our nation $24 billion

    @Fair is fair: "Liberals are so uneducated that you have to lie to them. That's all they understand"

    Yeah, and that's why Blue states have high per-capita incomes, higher literacy and high school graduation rates, lower high school drop-out and teenage pregnancy rates, in general send more dollars to the feds than get from the feds, have more world-class universities than Red ones ....

    Keep telling yourself these lies, Jethro ... guess it's easier than growing a pair and dealing with reality.

    November 23, 2013 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  7. ThinkAgain: The GOP owes our nation $24 billion

    "Job creation isn't the governments job."

    If the private sector was investing in OUR country like it should instead of offshoring jobs and paying their execs to hide their money overseas, then maybe the government wouldn't need to help stimulate the economy.

    November 23, 2013 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  8. ThinkAgain: The GOP owes our nation $24 billion

    @Mike Feehan: "***Where is he getting this 7.8 million jobs when the worker participation rate is the lowest that it has been since 1979??? This empty suit continues to place blame on others for his total incompetence....It is really a JOKE...."

    The statistic is from the U.S. Department of Labor; google "7.8 million jobs" and read the report for yourself.

    There has been 44 straight months of private sector job growth, which has resulted in the creation of 7.8 million jobs. There would be even more jobs, if the repubs weren't working night and day to stick it to us and then blame the President.

    Only a fool can't see this, only a fool.

    November 23, 2013 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  9. ThinkAgain: The GOP owes our nation $24 billion

    "Weekly Addresses: GOP Sticks it to U.S.; President Obama Works for U.S."

    FIFY

    November 23, 2013 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  10. pkMyt1

    What ever happened to the Grand Obstructionist Parties cry of "jobs and the economy"?

    November 23, 2013 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  11. don in albuquerque

    @fair is fair-I believe if you do a comparison of the blue states to the red sates, and then reread your post-you will know what uneducated truly means.

    November 23, 2013 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  12. Gt

    The knockout game on your home page is just young blacks assault on whites....

    November 23, 2013 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  13. don in albuquerque

    @Catmandew--Your post is so full of holes one could drive a truck through it. Please attempt to educated yourself before you publicly embarrass yourself any further.

    November 23, 2013 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  14. A True Conservative

    Yea – pivot to the economy – more people on food stamps than ever before. A stock market climbing only because of QE3. Fewer working age people working than ever before........yup....that's a winner!! It is if you want to push a socialist agenda......the government needs to take care of everyone.....except the only way they have the money to do that is to take it from those of us who still work and still pay taxes or to print more paper.....until it's worthless....

    November 23, 2013 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  15. A True Conservative

    You're welcome Katie B! Where do you think the subsidy that you qualify for comes from? Somebody else has to work and have their earnings taken from them and given to you. I guess if you have no self respect that works out just fine for you. Hopefully you will be the one footing the bill.....let's see how happy you are with things then. I know, now you say That will be wonderful, I'll be glad to do it......get back to us in a few years.....most young liberals finally get it when they mature......

    November 23, 2013 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  16. Jules

    Will the GOP please answer one question – when they get rid of Obamacare, what happens to all the people who have insurance now because of Obamacare. Do you just say ooops never thought of that?

    November 23, 2013 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  17. Larry in Houston

    WOW !! The Dow = 16,000 !! That's history in the making.....well, the fed is causing the dow to keep going higher & higher...LOL ....and for some odd / unknown reason, it's not up to the Gov't to "create" Jobs....and – Small Business isn't going to "replace" all the "Jobs" that has been lost in the last 35 years, period.... 100 people here, and 50 people there, and 25 people over there, isn't going to cut it, even if there is thousands that are needed by small businesses, when there were tens of millions of Jobs that were done away with. (no comparison) my advice to people that is relying on that stock to make them a bunch of cash money : get out now, while you can.....

    November 23, 2013 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  18. king

    aahhh these repubs are mad as hell because insurance companies got to man up and stop selling folks junk insurances that doesnt cover them when in time of need. my uncle had insurance for years back in the
    90s and he had to go into bankruptcy when he had a heart attack and found out that his junk insurance only covered part of his bills. lesson American, we need to stop lessening to the repubs selling you dirt for security, why would someone not try making folks get quality insurance that covers everything and not send them and their families to the poor house. wake up america and start seeing that these so called repubs who said they care about the folks that are getting kicked off their junk insurances so they can get real insurance policies, what happen to those 50 million folks in their individual state that doesn't have insurance are they not Americans too.

    November 23, 2013 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  19. Actually...No!

    "Fair is fair" – What is your highest level of education?

    November 23, 2013 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  20. Actually...the Tea Party shutdown the government!

    The Tea Party shut down government, because republicans refused to lead the party. The Tea Party really does not seem to care about US!

    Tea Party = Government Dysfunction = Bad for US.

    November 23, 2013 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  21. Veritas

    No need to bother engaging these Obama supporters. Based on most recent Presidential approval polls, Obama's supporters make up less than 1/3 of the total population. They are just an irrelevant fringe group now. No need to bother with them. On to saving America for the other 2/3 of us.

    November 23, 2013 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  22. Big Truck Joe

    Look all you naysayers, making this healthcare stuff up on the fly isn't easy work. You think its child's play to take over 1/5th of the economy without a ton of unintended consequences? That's alot of missed rounds of golf because of this whole healthcare deal. Indeed, this is quite a dilemma for the handsome young Indonesian actor, Barry Sotero, who plays the U.S. president on TV.

    November 23, 2013 11:04 pm at 11:04 pm |
  23. John

    GOP sticks to Obamacare.................Website should have been successfully completed by Oct. 1, but just how big of a deal is it?........doesn't even start until Jan. 1, so is this mis management or a national catastrophe/?.........doesn't the GOP have something more significant to complain about....................just get it done better and move on.............

    November 24, 2013 12:58 am at 12:58 am |
  24. Vence

    The so called Americans "Republicans" bashing the american economy! Weird.

    November 24, 2013 07:09 am at 7:09 am |
  25. BDR

    Burgess,your own party is a train wreck,take a hard look in the mirror at the steaming pile looking back,then ask yourself whats worse for the American people Obamacare or your the lack of integrity within your own party.

    November 24, 2013 08:28 am at 8:28 am |
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