July 19th, 2009
10:27 AM ET
12 years ago

'None of this is easy,' Obama aide says of health care reform

WASHINGTON (CNN) – A senior aide to President Obama said Sunday that the president’s ambitious goal of having a health care reform bill done by Congress’ August recess remains on track despite some recent indications that Congress may not be able to get the legislation done within Obama’s timeframe.

“None of this is easy,” Obama Budget Director Peter Orszag said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union, “there’s a reason why this hasn’t happened in 50 years and we’re making a lot of progress.”

Orszag reiterated the president’s commitment to sign a health care reform bill only if it is deficit-neutral over the first ten years after passage and Orszag acknowledged that “in the short run, some additional revenue is going to be required” to meet that condition.

Orszag revealed Sunday the White House has proposed to Congressional leaders legislative text relating to an independent commission of doctors. That panel, the administration believes, would help make the policymaking process more flexible by ultimately leading to lower health care costs and higher quality over time.

Orszag also told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King that getting the legislation done by August remains the White House’s “goal.”

“We think we can make that. We’re working towards that,” Orszag said. “There are some who are advocating delay simply because they don’t have anything to put on the table,” the Obama aide added.

Orszag rejected the suggestion that the president is taking a too hands-off approach to moving the legislation forward.

“People are reacting too much to the ebb and flow of what’s happening on a day-to-day basis,” Orszag told King. “It’s complicated. The legislative process is working. I think people are sort of reaching judgment about who is going to win the marathon based on who is ahead at, like, mile 19. Not a good way of judging things. We’re making a lot of progress.”

soundoff (58 Responses)
  1. Scott, Tucson

    Health care only became a crisis after Obama got into the WH. Maybe he ought to fix the US postal system first before meddling into peoples health care plans.

    July 19, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  2. Larry from RI

    Time to end the failed model of "for-profit health care" in the US.

    It is morally wrong for the health of US citizens to be traded on Wall St. like we were no more than commodities such as pork-bellies or soybeans!

    And where are the "family values" party on this one?
    They are supporting Wall St. and the fat cats who like the bonuses and profit margins just the way it is!

    Who's side is the opposition to affordable health care on anyway – certainly not ours!

    July 19, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  3. If this is so good.....

    why don't you and Obama give up your current health insurance and sign up for the Public Option.....now, it's not funny, is it???

    July 19, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  4. Mike

    Susie, if you want to try to get people to see your point of view, rather than just spew negativity, you should compare how much vacation time Obama has gone on to other recent presidents.

    I think it is very funny when people keep saying things like "How do we add all these additional people without affecting our current care? The answer is, you don't. You will have to sacrifice some, not huge amounts, but some. And in return, the United of States of America will become healthier as a whole. We will no longer have one of the worst standards of living as far as health care is concerned, in the civilized world. You'll be able to remain healthy without going bankrupt.

    I find it interesting that the party of Jesus (Republicans) are so against helping their fellow man. Isn't that what Christianity is all about?

    July 19, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  5. Peter

    Folks did you know that?, Brand Pharmaceutical companies pay off generic drugmakers to delay availability of their low cost versions which would annually save consumers $ 3.5 billion and reap $ 1.2 billion in savings for the federal government, which shoulders about one-third of all prescription drug cost? add the special insterest groups, lobbyist and the insures and you find a perfect cartel milking off your hard earned dollars. You are being duped! the only loosers are the common folks otherwise the rest makes 6 figures can afford operation in India and God knows where else. The hypocrisy with these groups lies in greediness wrapped with ethos of capitalism or the so called free market!!? belive me there is nothing ln the world called free market. You have seen the results of deregulations in some industries!. If America don't act now we can as well start learning mandarin because China will buy every industry! Ni hao!!!

    July 19, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  6. Hugo

    No con ever is Pete, no con ever is! You can only fool some of the people some of the time, not all of the people all of the time. That 20 odd percent of Independent and Republican voters that put Obama in office is waking up to see Barry the Usurper for what he really is, transparent!

    Go Obama! back to law school that is!

    July 19, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  7. Edward G. Googe

    Why all this hullaballoo about the financial part of the "HealthCare" program, when the services offered are more expensive than needed, too complicated to be funtional, leaving a "PATIENT" very vulnerable to what HealthCare he receives without costly recourse financialy and in burning the midnight oil when things go wrong, I know this side of the story from personal experience that included the death of my wife. I am referring to the HIPAA Rules. A law stipulates what it's intentions are. The Hipaa rules leaves much too much discretionary powers to legally protect the professionals – Doctors and their equivilant COVERED-ENTERTIES when stating a rule and immediately reversing the subject such as the fact that the patient is reqired to sign that he has accepted knowledge of a notice. Then on the next line it will say "However your signature is NOT REQUIRED". A doctor's discretion can be very discretionable and argumentive when making a decision for a patient. The vast majority of the Hipaa Rules are superfluous and NEED to be OVERHAULED. I think an appreciable cost reduction can be obtained this way. Abuse is the #ONE ENEMY of this Program. E.G.

    July 19, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  8. Nancy

    The Republican party will continue to die, if they continue to be bereft of any solutions and only "wail." The Obama administration never said it would easy or that mistakes would not be made. As a former Republican,now Independent, I am proud President Obama is taking on the difficult stuff instead of continuing the "status quo." It will take years to recover from the Bush/Cheney years-the truth is just coming out about those years.

    Is it tough, yes. We all have to work to get it better. The holier-than-thou Republicans need to find a way to clean up their own house before telling others how to live in theirs.

    July 19, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
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