July 20th, 2009
03:32 PM ET
12 years ago

Obama, GOP trade barbs in health care fight

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The charged battle over health care reform intensified Monday as President Barack Obama accused GOP critics with putting politics ahead of policy.

A top Republican, in turn, accused Obama of ramming through an ill-conceived plan that will undermine the country's economic future.

The latest rhetorical volleys were traded as Democrats struggled to regain much-needed political momentum on the high priority issue before the August congressional recess.

The president seized on recent remarks by Sen. Jim DeMint, R-South Carolina, who said in reference to the health care debate that "if we're able to stop Obama on this, it will be his Waterloo. It will break him."

"Think about that. This isn't about me. This isn't about politics," Obama said during a visit to Children's National Medical Center in Washington.

"This is about a health care system that is breaking America's families, breaking America's businesses, and breaking America's economy. And we can't afford the politics of delay and defeat when it comes to health care. Not this time. Not now."

Full story

Filed under: Health care • Michael Steele • President Obama
soundoff (253 Responses)
  1. Dave in Illinois

    The president continues to use his bully pulpit (emphasis on "bully") to push the Democratic health care plan. He demonizes the opposition and tells the American people to ignore their common sense and the projections of the CBO, and just get it done. He says we must trust him that the costs will decrease without care rationing as millions of new people are added to the system without regard to their current medical conditions.

    And, the whole plan is so wonderful that Congress will be exempt from the plan. If it's not good enough for Congress, it's not good enough for me!

    July 20, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  2. Independent

    Please this fear of being a "socialist country" and costing to much is not going to work. To get stuff you have to spend, everyone knows that.
    Universal health care all the way. My family income is over $250,000 and we have health insurance, so I'm all for paying a little extra tax on this. Just push it through President Obama, don't let them side track you.

    July 20, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  3. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    It's becoming an Obama stereotype to claim there's a pending disaster unless legislation is rushed through, so we get a bill like the stimulus, which isn't working and no read read before the vote. Make this a two step process. First reform the present systrem and realize the savings. Then once you know what you've saved add new services.

    July 20, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  4. Bill

    Healthcare has been a hot button for Republicans for years. They just can't stand the idea of everyone having access to healthcare. It's far too decent a concept for a Republican to understand.

    Just do whatever needs to be done to get the Blue Dogs on board. The USA is so far behind the developed countries of the world in terms of healthcare that it is a disgrace.

    July 20, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  5. "sigh"

    donttreadonme July 20th, 2009 4:24 pm ET

    If Obama's plan is so good then why are moderate Dems against it? Remember he doesn't need Republicans to vote for this he has the super-majority!
    It's not the super majority which is the big concern. Obama has reconciliation as an option.

    It is the super majority lobbyists who Obama is now fighting – those who fund the campaigns of ALL of Congress.

    July 20, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  6. AMZ

    For every American who is pushing for this plan to be pushed through I urge you to gut it out and read the whole 1018 pages. I did this past weekend and I say no. For every American that wants to follow blindly because we hate what the last administration did to us I ask you can you say yes to a health plan that the deductible is $5000. per individual and $10000 per family. ( why any reporters are not asking about this part is beyond me) This is around page 200 of the purposed plan. Oh yeah and for everyone like me who wondered if the rumor that health insurance from private companies would become illegal once this new reform past the answer to that is around page16-17. ITA that health cost need to be reined in, I agree that all my fellow Americans deserve affordable health care but I will say no thank you to what is on the table and have asked my representatives to keep on working on it to get it right or lose my vote.

    July 20, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  7. GOP = 21st century dodo

    Since McCain's campaign, the GOP has been interested only in scoring cheap political points by opposing everything Obama does. This is more of the same.

    July 20, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  8. Chris D.

    The government doesn't love the people....(only family is capable of love).....However, generations, since the first Great Republican, (Abraham Lincoln), and a few others (Eisenhower, T. Roosevelt)......the DEM party has been on the front lines, of social change. From social security, welfare (public assistance), unemployment benefits, medicaid, medicare, women's rights, civil rights, the DEMS have stepped up to the plate.......Each time the GOP has been there to preach the same party lines.........I do respect them though, we need conservatives to keep a leash on our liberalism.....it keeps us from going way way out there. However Presidents/republican, and Dems of old have long wanted to go w/ universal healthcare. It's long overdue.
    The GOP should get out the way, or join the cause, to perfect the bill.

    July 20, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  9. Retired US ARMY

    Last time I checked Congress had been given the task of reforming health care to provide some sort of medical care for the American population that does not have heath care. It's not Obama's health care reform effort, it is ours. As doing the American thing that Congress is so adept at, that is pointing blame and complaining about why somrthing is not going to work or can not be put in place is not goping to get the job done this time. It's time to put up or you know what. Write your elected officials if you really beleive that health care reform must occur and tell them to submit their own plan or ideas and take credit for them if they in fact have any ideas that they can call their own. This is something that must occur but it will not occur if people do not unite in a concerted effort to make it so rather than doom it before it has a chance of happening.

    July 20, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  10. SamSunny

    Not having healthcare for everyone is costing individual Americans more than they can imagine. I worked at a major University Hospital and the reason people are paying so much is not only insurance companies, but the uninsured, who use emergency rooms as their healthcare plan. Do nothing now about covering the uninsured, illegal aliens, drug users, smokers, drinkers, etc., and these cost will keep going up triple-fold the ecomony. Soon even the insured won't be able to afford healthcare.

    July 20, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  11. Right Leaning Independent

    Slow down Obama and create a smart well thought out plan and find cuts to useless programs to pay for it! We can not afford to act like all these homeowners that spent money they could not afford to pay back and nearly ruined our country!!

    July 20, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  12. J in NJ

    Dem or Repub I could care less.

    I have written to all of my representatives in Washington and demanded that no public option be set forth unless BHO and the rest of our legislature plans on dropping their insurance and switching to this public option.Oh wait that already came up and was voted along party lines. Oddly enough those in favor Repubs, those against Dems.

    What we don't need is another provider. There are currently over 1000 different health care insurance companies in the USA. Competition is not the issue. What is at issue is the cost of healthcare. Why is healthcare so expensive that it is even necessary to have health insurance? No other good or service provided in the marketplaces requires insurance to purchase that good or service.

    What we need is more community based healthcare organizations staffed with nurse practioners that can provide teh same care as a doctor at half or a third of the cost. We need to stop going to the ER for a headache!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We need more people in the healthcare industry. We need more teachers to teach nurses! We need to make education more affordable .

    July 20, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  13. Aunt Bea and Opie

    The plan WILL be passed,much to the dismay of the republicans.This bozo"uncleMike" couldnt get a job has a fill in for ronald mcdonald,wait a second,maybe he is ronald.hahaha

    July 20, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  14. Simmy

    People Stand Up For New Leadership......

    So, so funny.....Could not have said it better myself......In addition, I agree with the person twho said his script had to be edited by Rush, and he was coached by Newt the warlock.....I would go as far as to say he's even taking tips from Palin (rejected barbie doll – sent to the island of misfit toys).....Nothing personal – It's strictly politics......

    July 20, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  15. Simmy

    People Stand Up For New Leadership......

    So, so funny.....Could not have said it better myself......In addition, I agree with the person who said his script had to be edited by Rush, and he was coached by Newt the warlock.....I would go as far as to say he's even taking tips from Palin (rejected barbie doll – sent to the island of misfit toys).....Nothing personal – It's strictly politics......

    July 20, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  16. Jim in San Jose 2

    Hasn't the GOP already undermined our financial future in their search for cheaper oil? Maybe we should spend some of that money taking care of people.

    I don't think that Obama's plan is fool-proof, or that it's perfect, but it's something. What have we gained from our war in Iraq? More debt. At least, in exchange for the debt this would generate, it would relieve some pressure on the economic worries of some people.

    July 20, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  17. Daisy

    @ PROUD to be the Party of NO socialism!


    I AGREE. In fact, down with ALL government run programs!!! Down with the LAW. Down with COPS! Down with ALL GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES! Down with LIBRARIES! And the POSTAL SERVICE! And PUBLIC SCHOOLS!

    This is AMERICA! I don't need nobody!!!!

    July 20, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  18. Jon

    Obama's argument would have more weight if he hadn't put his socialist spending agenda ahead of health care. His credibility is gone.

    July 20, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  19. worriedmom

    Obama is a typical Liberal. Instead of admitting that he may not be right on his plans, he resorts to name calling. That is one thing that I have learned through this whole election process. You cannot debate with Liberals intelligently, they want to whine and name call. That is how they handle their problems. waa, waa 🙁

    July 20, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  20. Karl in Charleston,SC

    Obama saying DeMint is playing politics? Isn't that the pot calling the kettle black?

    -oh I guess we can't say that now...

    July 20, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  21. Kris D., Toronto

    "Educate Yourselves" just informed us that the GOP is not just saying NO, they are offering a plan too: More tax cuts.

    Sigh. Their answer for everything.

    Got a leaky pipe in the bathroom? Try a tax cut!

    Can't get the dog to stop barking? Try a tux cut!

    Need to start a war? Try a tax cut!

    Can't afford healthcare? Try a tax cut!

    July 20, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  22. GOP = 21st century dodo

    @Mike, Syracuse, NY

    "It's becoming an Obama stereotype to claim there's a pending disaster unless legislation..."


    I assume, then, that you're also critical of the Bush administration for trying to ram everything through under the guise of "national security" and "terror threats".

    Also your solution doesn't work because Republicans DON'T WANT HEALTHCARE FOR EVERYONE. It cuts into profits.

    July 20, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  23. Michae

    If we have teh "best health in the world" then why are we 50th in life expectancy and 180th in infant mortality according to the CIA The World Fact Book?

    July 20, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  24. Dont blame me

    Can somebody tell me of a GOVERNMENT RUN program that isn't BANKRUPT??????

    I would have more faith in what these idiots are doing if they would 1st fix Medicare, Medicaid, and the Veterans Hospitals. NONE of these things work right now. Fix them 1st, so that we can have some idea that government can get it right.

    Right now, all GOVERNMENT has to show us is a long list of FAILURES.

    July 20, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  25. kevincollins

    ONCE again a GOPer doesn't address how uninsured Americans are going to get insured. They're saying 26,000,000 Americans who have health care should be able to keep that coverage, but two logic loopholes to that: one, a lot of that coverage is poor-quality; two, what about those who aren't in the $26-million club? No answer from eyes-wide-shut Steele. All he and his brethen want are for rich doctors not to get sued no matter their degree of negligence; and to keep the health-care insurers fat and deep in the riches. As for the uninsured, the only care is emergency-room care with catastrophic costs - and also catastrophic consequences for someone whose health would've been bettered with preventive care so it didn't grow into the catastrophic illness he has now.

    July 20, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
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