November 30th, 2007
02:21 PM ET
13 years ago

Obama defends healthcare plan in DNC speech

Obama addressed the DNC Friday.

VIENNA, Virginia (CNN) - Without citing her by name, Barack Obama continued the sharp campaign trail give and take with Hillary Clinton as he addressed the core faithful Friday at the Democratic Party’s fall meeting.

“The same old Washington textbook campaign just won’t do in this election … the electoral strategy that starts out leaving half the country behind just won’t do it,” said the Illinois senator. “Triangulating poll driven positions because we’re worried about what Mitt or Rudy will say just won’t do it. We can’t live in fear of losing.”

Obama, reprising familiar campaign trail remarks and themes aimed at drawing contrasts with the New York senator, said that if he were the Democratic nominee his Republican opponent would not “be able to say I voted for the war” in Iraq “or gave George Bush the benefit of the doubt on Iran.” Clinton voted for the Iraq war resolution in 2002, and this year voted for an amendment that would classify the Iran National Guard a terrorist organization.

On a day when both the Obama and Clinton camps were again trading fire over the issue of health care, Obama said he had “put forth a universal health care plan that will do more to cut the cost of health care than any other proposal in this race.

“Here’s the truth – if you can’t afford health insurance right now, you will when I’m president,” said Obama. “Anyone who tells you otherwise is more interested in scoring points than solving problems. And I’m in it because we’ve had enough of that.”

- CNN Senior Political Producer Sasha Johnson

soundoff (74 Responses)
  1. anne, detroit, mi.

    I have a problem with items # 2 and #5 on Obama's plan . Expanding health care for Medicaid and SCHIP means you and I will pay for it thru taxes ////// and having the Fed. govern'mt supervise any private business is NEVER a good idea. Since when is the government supposed to provide health care ? Is that in the founding Constitution?! NOT

    November 30, 2007 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  2. Samar, San Diego, CA

    Honestly, I really was going to vote for Obama, but no more.

    It's one thing to question another candidate's policy position, but what Obama is doing now (and has been doing for the past month) is completely insulting. His suggestion basically implies that Hillary Clinton, for her entire public life, has done things only based on polls. How absolutely insulting. This women should be commended for all of the work and good deads that she has done. If you don't agree with her politics, fine. But this is now blatant character assasination.

    Shame on Obama and his staff. I thought he would be different. He's not; just a guy willing to say, do, or insult anyone to get elected.

    November 30, 2007 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  3. Tired of Corruption LV

    I do no want to be FORCED to have Hillary's health care program just to make the insurance companies that have paid her make more money than they already are.

    I want a choice and that is Senator Obama.

    Is Hillary going to arrest people for not being able to afford the cost of her health insurance. She is NOT going to cover anyone – we the people will have to cover ourselves or face the consequences of not being able to afford whatever costs are thrown at us by her corporate financial backers.

    Clinton's policy is just like sham she tried to covertly pass during her one attempt at legislation during her reign as first lady.

    November 30, 2007 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  4. Michael Martin.. Springfield IL

    To the supporters of the Clinton campaign that beleive we need to return the Clinton administration to the presidency.. Bill will not be the president again so lets not assume that what he did in office will happen again..It is Hillary's job and her experience is NONE.. She was a presidents WIFE and only got the senators job b/c of that. Everything she has done has been given to her b/c of her HUSBAND..Look back over the votes and how she supported the War, backing Bush on Iran.. NOW she resents the such. Sound familar?? Try Kerry, he supported the bill before he opposed the bill, wait a minute, then he supported it again before he changed his mind AGAIN..She is just playing the poll game..

    November 30, 2007 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  5. Coach Haughton NH

    I am a Baby Boomer and my mined is still fully in tact. So much that I know Obama is not Right for the job he is seeking.

    Posted By Jimmy Sanborn : November 30, 2007 5:47 pm

    look another clinton dummy. whose MINED is two words. IN TACT. please tell me where tact is so i can take my mind there.

    A Clinton voter ladies and gentleman.

    November 30, 2007 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  6. Asher Heimermann, Sheboygan, Wisconsin

    I enjoy listening to Obama's speeches. I really enjoyed his last speech at the Jackson Dinner. Go Obama!

    Asher Heimermann, WI

    November 30, 2007 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  7. Margarita, Chicago, IL

    This country has been ran by experienced corruption for years and this is were we are as a country, I say give the new comers a shot he cant screw it up any worst than the wrest of these so called expericend dictators.

    Posted By Lyon Abear, East St. Lois Il. : November 30, 2007 7:57 pm

    Thank you for that comment Lyon. I wasn't born in America, and I could not believe how did u vote for Bush two times, and now u want Clinton's again. I shoked to see how many people think that she is a good candidate, good in what? Taking crap from her husband? the whole world saw her being insulted, but she chose the "politically correct" way of solving problem. if I was Bill I would not trust her, she is going to stick it to him.

    November 30, 2007 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  8. Jimmy Sanborn


    Clintons Plain also offers the same insurance that Congress gets. It looks as if your all alone in this fight, along with your choice for President. My vote is SOLID Senator Clinton for President. Besides Obama would not be in this race if he were not Black. He is no one, like me

    November 30, 2007 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  9. Leo, VA

    "It's pretty obvious you haven't even READ his UHC proposal…..otherwise you wouldn't post something that sounds this ignorant.
    Posted By Vince Los Angeles, CA : November 30, 2007 7:09 pm"

    Mr Vince, 'affordable' does not mean 'universal'. Affordable by whose standards? What is affordable for Obama may not be for you/me/others!

    Another stupid point made so often: "making the same health insurance that is available for U.S. Senators available for those that can't afford it". Who can be such an idiot to believe that? This country will be in danger when a Senator will have to go to the clinic instead of having a private doctor coming at his office/home. To say something like that is hypocritical and offending our intelligence.

    November 30, 2007 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  10. sk, Toronto

    Let me clear some of misconception that seem to have regarding mandated health insurance.

    I am canadian where health coverage is manadated by govt. Guess what I am healthy and I haven't used hospital facilities so far. I have been to doctor once a year during flu season and I am also top 6% earner as per Obama's defination. I am mandated to pay via taxes and I do pay every year. Services that I use every year are not worth thousands I pay every year. I don't have choice to say no. Basically rich pay more and poor pay less. Healthy one pay for the sicker one. younger ones pay for the older one. End of the day everyone is covered and I am will old to one day. I have no complains about it you know why. Because anyone can fall sick anytime. And I know if it does happen I will be taken care of. I won't lose my house if god forbids something happens. So stop being arrogant and question stuff what is beyond you.
    It is really amazing how all these Clinton supporters are willing to accept MANDATED HEALTH INSURANCE in order to sweep Hillary Clinton into office….I would LOVE to see your faces if you are in the position of having to pay the FINE when you are caught without Hillary's mandated health insurance plan…


    Posted By Vince Los Angeles, CA : November 30, 2007 7:26 pm

    November 30, 2007 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  11. Henry Miller, Cary, NC

    “Here’s the truth – if you can’t afford health insurance right now, you will when I’m president.”

    Oh? You plan on subsidising everyone's premiums out of your own paycheck? No? Oh! I get it! You're going to subsidise the premiums out of my paycheck!

    So kind of you to be so generous with other peoples' money!

    November 30, 2007 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  12. Dan, TX

    Go Barack, his health care plan will cover everyone who wants insurance. Yes, finally health insurance for everyone will be available in a way that independents and even some republicans can support. And it will cost half as much as Clinton's!

    Way to go Obama.

    December 1, 2007 12:06 am at 12:06 am |

    please, its all about Obama.
    Hillbooger will milk this hostage situation for all its worth.

    December 1, 2007 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  14. Shannon, South Hadley, MA

    "Obama said he had 'put forth a universal health care plan that will do more to cut the cost of health care than any other proposal in this race.'"

    What about Dennis Kucinich's not-for-profit, single-payer health care system? He is the only candidate advocating for such a plan. *That* is true health care reform and help for the 47 million uninsured Americans.

    Vote Kucinich in '08.

    December 1, 2007 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
  15. Ken, San Diego, CA

    Fine, Barack, you want a simple solution to a health care mandate:

    When someone files their taxes they need to show proof of health insurance. If they don't have proof of health insurance, then you will automatically be enrolled in one of the "America Choices" plans (after which, you can file your taxes). No penalty assessment will be needed. That took about a few seconds to come up...

    Now, will you please explain why your health plan is so weak, certainly as compared to Hillary Clinton's. Her plan seeks to lower costs in a more effective and robust fashion, and her plan requires the mandate which ultimately will lower the cost for EVERYONE by increasing the insured pool. By the way, if you can't afford the insurance (even after the lowered costs), guess what, she has tax breaks and federal aid to help those folks out.

    December 1, 2007 01:46 am at 1:46 am |
  16. Steve, Lyons, CO

    "….please learn to spell b4 engaging in debate with me…thanks!
    Posted By Vince Los Angeles"

    Ah, spelling flames, Vince: the last refuge of a small mind.

    Here's how stupid you look: please spell "before" again for us?

    Thanks! And BTW, why engage in a debate with a petty mind such as yours?

    Or should I say, UR mind?

    December 1, 2007 02:59 am at 2:59 am |
  17. Kyu Reisch, Radcliff, Kentucky

    Obama supporters do not respect Obama, they don't like Obama's political view completely, but they know how to hate Hillary, it is very dangerous for our Country to vote liar president, Obama is high class liar than any candidate.

    December 1, 2007 03:46 am at 3:46 am |
  18. Dave, Cheverly MD

    Every other news site has allowed comments to be posted about this VERY SCARY Roadside Flare NH local KNOW nut case stunt When I read the other sites comments most were VERY much NOT so into this. It basically boiled down to, Ned The Wino ( of “Good Times “ 70s TV show) demanding all the liquor from the local Tavern or else he is going to hurt them with his bad breath. Look for more nonsense or someone being killed opps.. I mean committing suicide, or something blown up, or maybe a terror attack. As Obama poll numbers continue to climb. (ANYTHING WILL BE ATTEMPTED TO STOP CHANGE FROM HAPPINING.) Look for all sorts of astronomical events to all of a sudden occur.

    December 1, 2007 03:47 am at 3:47 am |
  19. H.Pelletier Belgrade, Maine

    I am a 36 year old mother of 3 and so happy to have a candidate that is more interested in real solutions. My parents' generation has failed mine and my children's when it comes to leadership and planning for the future. Obama has my support because he seems to understand that the power of the federal government is to be defined by its social contract with THE PEOPLE. His healthcare proposal is evidence of this. My hopes are invested in OBAMA.

    December 1, 2007 04:10 am at 4:10 am |
  20. chris, Chicago, IL

    Check this: Dollar, Gold, Europe, Big Debt, Empire, Health care. Capitulation to unfair trade agreements. Water into Wine.

    December 1, 2007 05:12 am at 5:12 am |
  21. Tyrone Davies Iowa

    Obama is a joke...don't waste your time een listening to his lies. He cannot come up with one solution on his own, he takes from his opponets and reports it as his own. He has no health care plan, he running scared of Clinton... WE ALL understabd why he copies Clinton and thats ok, WE ARE VOTING FOR THE CLEAR LEADER WHICH IS HILLARY, NOT THE FOLLOWER...Obama Winphrey....

    December 1, 2007 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  22. Jim, Irmo, SC

    She does change her positions based on polling. Her history proves it. This does not mean that she is a bad person or that she hasn't done good for her constituency or the country. However, it does mean that she is just some of the same old thing. Because of the pace of the campaign, and the need to get the message out, we often forget that there is often substance to what often seems to be empty rhetoric. Obama really is a person who could bring change. We could get by with her, and, yahoo, we would have someone not a neocon in the Whitehouse if she was elected. But America deserves more than that.

    December 1, 2007 08:43 am at 8:43 am |
  23. anon, new york, NY

    Obama’s health care plan is a dog's breakfast of bad ideas from Left, Right, and center, topped with an unhealthy amount of wishful thinking. If enacted it would cost Americans dearly — in higher taxes, lost jobs, reduced freedom of choice, and lower quality health care.

    Obama bragged that, "[m]y plan begins by covering every American." But it doesn't. To say otherwise is rhetorical overreach, the appropriation of a popular and broadly-supported goal without an attendant mechanism for achieving it.
    There are a few ways to achieve universal health care. You can create a single-payer plan that enrolls the population automatically. This is what Canada does, and how Medicare covers the elderly. You can create an employer mandate, where the primary responsibility falls on workplaces, and smaller mandates mop up the remainder. That was the approach showcased in the Clinton reforms of the early '90s. You can create an individual mandate that charges every American with procuring health insurance, and penalizes them if they don't. This is the approach favored by Mitt Romney in Massachusetts, Arnold Schwarzenegger in California, Ron Wyden in the Senate, and John Edwards in the presidential campaign. Obama's plan offers none of these approaches.
    Instead, it seeks to make care cheaper and more accessible, assuming that, if it succeeds - and that's a big if - Americans will enroll of their own volition. It is a plan with the potential to be universal, rather than a universal plan.

    In that respect, it is very much like Obama himself, a candidate of almosts, lack of audacity, full of hope but not deliverable.

    December 1, 2007 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  24. Antwi, Accra, Ghana

    So can't you see that Obama right from the start has been the best candidate so far. America's president is not just for Americans and given Obama's eloquence and ideas, it is very clear that he is the obvious choice. I however doubt very much America will be that decerning to choose him to lead!

    December 1, 2007 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  25. Les WA

    Obama's problem is Obama. I've never seen a candidate for the primary devoid of originality when it comes to his plan for healthcare. Obama's health plan will leave 15 million Americans behind, how can he claim his plan will cover everyone?

    Obama is fantastic in giving speeches, but when it comes to debate the man fumbles. In his speeches no one can give him a rebuttal on the spot. The man is an empty suit.

    I'm a baby boomer, I will not vote for the man, his fallacies are quite obvious, he's too far from being honest. I've seen politicians running for nomination lie to their teeth, not one of them can equal Obama. The man smiles while lying at you. This is the man who oppose Iraq war while he was a STATE SENATOR, I haven't seen ANY state senator went to the capitol hill and cast their vote. This is the man who criticized the plan of Senator John Kerry to withdraw our troops in Iraq during his first speech in the senate floor. This is the man, for three years as junior US senator MISSED 80% of the vote in the Capitol Hill. This is the man who did NOT cast his vote for kyl-Liberman bill cut criticize it; made an excuse he was not informed when the senate will cast their vote, an OUTRIGHT LIE, everyone was INFORMED when the voting will begin. Hillary Clinton flew back to DC to cast her vote, Obama didn't. What kind of crap Obama is spewing? We have a liar in the WH close to 8 years now, I be darn if I'd vote for another liar this coming election who has the notion being black and excellent in giving speeches is good enough to make him President! The WORST Obama have done in his campaign and interviews, is INSULTING WOMEN. Not all women are like his wife! I find that totally offensive!

    December 1, 2007 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
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