July 17th, 2009
04:50 PM ET
12 years ago

Democrats splinter in contentious health care reform debate

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/07/17/health.care/art.obama.health.care.cnn.jpg caption="President Obama says health care is at the top of his domestic agenda."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - The fight over health care reform took center stage on Capitol Hill on Friday, as the House Democratic leadership stepped up its push for passage of a bill before the August congressional recess.

An influential group of Senate moderates, however, broke with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and President Obama by releasing a letter urging a slower timetable.

Obama, who has put health care reform at the top of his domestic agenda, pushed Congress to get the job done.

"Now is not the time to slow down, and now is certainly not the time to lose heart," the president said from the White House.

"Those who are betting against this happening this year are badly mistaken," he said. "It will happen this year."

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Filed under: Health care
soundoff (88 Responses)
  1. Fair is Fair

    @ Southerner –

    Well, this may be a shocker to you, but I'm an ER physician who is dead-set against Obama's health care plan.

    My reasons are numerous, but the bottom line is that it is going to discourage our next generation of would-be physicians from going into the medical field altogether.

    Couple this with an aging population, and you have a recipe for disaster.

    There are many things which can be done. None of what I've seen so far makes much sense at all.

    July 17, 2009 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  2. Ren from Baltimore


    This is exactly why the Republicans were saying "no" to everything-to wait you out.

    Dems, you are a bunch of dunces, and this bailing out on the American people deserves a whole-sale housecleaning next election cycle.

    July 17, 2009 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  3. Darth Vadik, CA

    Republicans are brainless idiots who follow the leader, even if the leader is walking off the cliff, and Democrats are like hearding cats.

    I would like to send every pharmaceutical and insurance lobbyist to China for a little re-educaion therapy.

    July 17, 2009 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  4. GI Joe

    On one of the Blue Cross Sites ---

    ......... has approved a rate increase for Blue Cross Blue Shield of North ... industry: Billions of our premium dollars go to pay for marketing, advertising ...........

    Check it out for yourselves folks.

    July 17, 2009 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  5. Skip, a black man

    Hurry Hurry Hurry.....they may want me out soon! Obama please ...QUIT!

    July 17, 2009 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  6. johnnie

    President Obama will pass HEALTH CARE,He said it today CNN ,get use to it...... Its done

    July 17, 2009 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  7. Old_guy

    How can I help these people that are showing some back bone and are voting against Nancy and Barrack?

    Can I send them a check or can I make a phone call or two for them.

    Tell me how to help with this great cause.

    July 17, 2009 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  8. annie s

    Ah, the shoot themselves in the foot gang is at it again. Here's why the President's polls are slipping and why health care reform is in trouble – because Democrats are an unruly little bunch who can't seem to rein their egos in long enough to show a united front – something Republicans always have been able to do. We have one message coming in relentlessly from the Republicans, that Obama and all his policies stink – and we have the fractious Dems who can't manage to say a darn thing in unison to support the President and his policies. I'm ready to vote them all out.

    July 17, 2009 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  9. wally

    I know no one really listens to the american people any more, but please do like these senators suggested. slow down just a little. i'm begging!!!

    July 17, 2009 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |

    You better spllinter otherwise you don't represent we the people.

    July 17, 2009 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  11. Obama Supporter

    We need health care reform and we need it now. The american tax payers are already paying for healthcare.

    The fact that so many insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies etc make HUGE profits off of the sick and the old is discusting and wrong. Preventative medicine is the only option. A public option is the only way to make the insurance companies more competitive, and to take away all of their huge exclusions.

    Why do so many people in this country do not get early detection of cancers? Because they have to pay through the nose for testing and preventative care.

    REFORM NOW!!!!! IT will pay off huge in the long run.l

    July 17, 2009 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  12. Shannon

    What's the hurry President Obama, what are you trying to put over on us this time. The stimulus that had to be passed before anyone could read it, was just a lot of money for banks and big business. Get it right, it doesn't need to be fast, hey here's a thought, read the bill this time.

    July 17, 2009 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  13. Roger from CA

    Just don't muck this up, Democrats! THIS HAS TO HAPPEN!!!!!!!

    July 17, 2009 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  14. Ian Rabb

    Should we really be surprised Lieberman is opposing the President and other Democrats? this man is so arrogant, so in it for himself, he had me vote republican in his Conn. senate race fir the first time in my life given the Republican was running second and the Democrat was running a distant third.

    Obama should do fundraiser after fundraiser to support the next Democrat running in Connecticut! As well, the Dems should immediately throw him out of caucus, strip him of his influential chairmanships, and let him go to the Republicans where he belongs anyway. What good is claiming to be at the magic number 60 when 1 of them is Joe Lieberman?

    July 17, 2009 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  15. voice of reason

    I am not suprised. Healthcare is a mess, and another illconcieved bill by an unprepared congress signed by a novice president is probably going to make it worse.

    I just wish I would have had bumper stickers made:

    "Y'all told me it could not be worse than Bush......"

    July 17, 2009 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  16. Don

    72% of the American People want health care reform with an "Public Option". Listen up your moderate Democrats either you with us or against us.

    July 17, 2009 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  17. granny

    I say go for it, " ONLY IF" every member of the judicial, executive, and legislative branch of government pledge to have the same health care. The working people of this country can no longer afford this government.

    July 17, 2009 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  18. JS007

    Why are the Democrats such a disgrace? Republicans marched blindly behind bush as he destroyed the country, but Democrats can't even pass health care? What a joke! The insurance company minions aka Blue Dogs who are sabotaging this need to be voted out in next election!

    And where are the American people? The way I see it, there should be 50 Million calls to Congress demanding health care – what are the uninsured doing, twiddling their thumbs???

    July 17, 2009 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  19. Dyan

    They want a SLOWER time table??? We've been talking about health care reform for at least the last 15 years and going back decades before that. How much slower do they want to go????

    July 17, 2009 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  20. hard to believe

    Ok...I can undersrtand the repubs and Blue-dog demos voting against health care reform because they are paid off by the insurance companies. Take a gander at the millions that come pouring out of the slimy lobbyists who represent Blue Cross, AETNA and the rest of these crooks. That seems to be the way this broken system that is capitalism in the 21st century works. But I do not understand normal citizens who are against the reform. What part of the system works for them? Is it the fact that you can't get healthcare if you've ever been sick? Is it the outrageous prices that keep going up for no apparent reason? Is it because they cheat you if you need to go outside your plan for care or consultation? Do they like the idea that they can be dropped whenever the insurance companies decide? Is it because they won't cover many necessary procedures that they consider "experimental"? The list goes on and on. Does Medicare, the model we would use for a government run option, not work well? Don't our elderly get better care than they would get if it did not exist? It amazes me that people in this country will vote against their own self-interest, and the interests of the country's citizens. We are a pathetic lot. The fascism that is corporate America keeps dragging us through the mud, and unfortunately many of you don't want to stop it. God help us.

    July 17, 2009 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  21. No way

    NO - oZERO - it is YOU who are badly mistaken. This BULL of yours will NOT happen this year. As a matter of fact, will NEVER happen.

    Da honeymoon is over, dork. The American people will THROW YOU OUT bt end of summer. Yo bettah be packing yo bags fo GITMO.....

    July 17, 2009 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  22. Fed Up

    We need to get rid of the two party system. Neither one of the major parties work for the people. They work to get re-elected. I don't trust anyone up there. The guys on the finance committee know as much about finance as I do about brain surgery. They all need to be kicked out and replaced with libertarians. I was a dem when I was young and stupid, a repub. when I matured and thought I was a little wiser. Now I am an Independent with nobody to vote for.

    July 17, 2009 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  23. Andrew (Toronto)

    As a Canadian, I really hope most Americans do not believe the ads being aired by the "actors" claiming to be Canadian patients. They are blatant lies, I would not leave this country because of our healthcare system.

    If the insurance companies are so great, why are they so afraid of a little competition from the Government? I am convinced that there is a systematic dumbing down of the North American society, so that we no longer think critically and just accept what we see on television. We all need to smarten up!

    July 17, 2009 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  24. addon

    Does anyone remember the "Bush Math" model of "war supplemental" – off the books? Now that Obama is putting all the cards on the table, why do the republicans believe our new president is ruining the country?

    Republicans the question begs; Is the main reason we are supposed to oppose Obama because he's in the wrong party? He's trying to spend money here in the U.S. (on us americans) while Bush couldn't or wouldn't tell us where the money went. If as republicans you are for what's best for america, why don't you join the democrats in helping move the debate forward; instead of being the party of NO – personified.

    July 17, 2009 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  25. Ethan

    Since when do TWO REPUBLICANS and ONE INDEPENDENT/REPUBLICAN out of a group of only SIX people equal "Democrats splintering"? What a joke. CNN is no better than the National Enquirer.

    President Obama is absolutely on the right track.

    You can tell he is doing well from the insane rantings of the obnoxious, belligerent, and clearly under-educated and misinformed Bushies and Neocons that post here every day.

    Way to go Obama. 🙂 🙂 🙂

    And hey Republicans, MORE INSANE RANTINGS PLEASE!

    Have a great day all. God Bless America!

    July 17, 2009 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
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