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. panem et circenses

    They are going to pay for reform out of savings from efficiencies?

    Ask yourself this: When has the government EVER been more cost-conscious than private industry? What business runs a trillion dollar deficit every year and stays in business? Not one. Every business that is IN business is ALWAYS looking for ways to save money. When has the government EVER been more concerned with efficencies than private industry? Ever drive through a construction zone where 4 guys stand around while 1 guy spreads tar? In my office, if you are standing around doing nothing then you are out the door before the next budget cycle begins.

    It boggles the mind that Obama and company can say these things with a straight face.

    July 20, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  2. Surprised

    The current health care system can deny you coverage for procedures even if you are insured, can refuse to accept you due to pre existing conditions, can bankrupt you if you get sick and hospitalized, and you call this a good system? You must be joking.

    July 20, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  3. Zaley

    What a complete mess the GOP has made for themselves. Steele is a major disgrace to the party.

    July 20, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  4. Albert

    What did you Republican Idiots do in the past 8 Years on Health Care?

    Nothing; Zero; ………

    July 20, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  5. Ideally

    More Insurance is not the answer; it is one of the factors which has contributed to the inflated costs we are now paying. Additionally, illegal aliens and people who do not even pursue coverage are lumped into the total. You cannot force everyone to live in a house, and you cannot force everyone to prioritize having health care over satellite TV; despite what mainstream thinking says to the contrary.

    Spreading a larger bill for healthcare around despite how it is disguised does not help business become more competitve (from the shackles of health care cost), does not make providors more competitive (anyone who complains about the military's cost for hammers and toilet seats please sit down). What is DOES is add more debt and and hardship and create an un-dismantleable (coined) elephant that further leads to government dependancy.

    Either take over the whole beast and pay for it with a transparent federal sales tax so we the people know what it costs and can rate it on it's merits or continue along the path of continual reform. We have the best care, the shortest waits and we as a society are not willing to trade them for ANYTHING, regardless of what we might banter about the root evils being.

    July 20, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  6. Welcome to The BoBo Show

    Quite a few racists from the party of "Gimme" on this post.....Obama is a joke get over it

    July 20, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  7. Limbaugh is a liberal

    They only try to deflect the attention away from the fact that the GOP has NO IDEAS! Their 'alternate' health care plan is a 3 page outline with no cost estimates, and 80% of it was stolen verbatim from the Obama plan. Perhaps when the republicans are willing start thinking, and doing the job we're paying them for, we might start listening. Otherwise they deserve to be ignored.

    July 20, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  8. dominican mama 4 Obama

    "Under (Obama's) plan, costs are going up, and you, the American people, are going to pay."


    Okay Boogeyman Steele, so what's YOUR plan?.....crickets.
    Thought so!


    We've already tried incenting big business with tax breaks etc. Look how well that worked out for us.

    July 20, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  9. Dave

    If the GOP has a better plan, I'd like to hear it. When they were asked for their plan, they turned in a three-page joke with no specifics and nothing but nonsense. They don't HAVE a plan of their own... they just know they don't like anything Obama will come up with, because he's a Democrat. It's not that they're principled, because they backed Bush on worse things. The Republicans a hypocritical jokes who are only still in existence due to the gullibility of theocrats.

    July 20, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  10. Alway the same answer from Republican

    According to McConnell, give more insurance breaks to employers. Is he freakin' blind?? Corporations have gotten every break for the last 8 yrs and where the hell has that left the working people? Pounding the pavement while other countries are doing our jobs with substandard quality and efficiency! Please Republicans, go away.

    July 20, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  11. history repeats

    somebody rip that mustache off of that fools face!

    July 20, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  12. John, NC

    Obama's ego is too big. He needs to let Congress work out a sensible health care reform and stop trying to railroad something through that we can't afford just to meet his goal. As his poll number indicate, people are beginning to see him for what he really is.

    July 20, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  13. Slappy White

    Republicans don't even care what Michaels Steele has to say.

    So why should CNN?

    July 20, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  14. Peter E

    Newsflash to Steele: the cost of health care is already growing at an alarming rate. Americans are already paying trillions of dollars EVERY YEAR to the private insurance companies whose BUREAUCRATS continue to deny us services. Where's the grand GOP plan to deal with that? They don't have one! 'Um... tax cuts! The solution to everything!' Guess what, tax cuts ARE costly and add to the deficit. It is why our national debt is so huge because 3/4 of our economy is borrowed already, and your father was greedy to ask a tax cut for himself, knowing you'd have to pay it back to foreigners WITH INTEREST!

    July 20, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  15. No Obama = No Hillary

    b franklin
    How about the US armed forces? If the government can run the armed forces better than the private sector why not trust it with healthcare? Or does it have something to do with Corporate America and insurance companies need to milk healthcare for what is worth.

    July 20, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  16. gg

    The only thing Steele support it is the health care for the wealthest and cut tax for the wealthest!!!

    July 20, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  17. Fla.

    "GOP Chief"?? Will Steele be asking Limbaugh if it's ok to borrow his title for this article, or will there be another apology pending? LOL

    July 20, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  18. Chester Drawers

    Mr. Token has spoken.

    July 20, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  19. mfelder

    For all of you people busy defending the Lobbyist, ask yourself what infrastructure are they going to put in place to accommodate 47 million people, what incentive are they going to provide to doctors to accommodate 47 million people, what facilities are they going to construct to accommodate 47 million people. Don't let the lobbyist continue to fool you, if healthcare reform does not go through, it will be business as usual for the healthcare industry. They have no intention to provide healthcare for the 47 million people left out in the cold. If healthcare reform is passed, can you imagine the infrastrusture that must be built in order to accommodate 47 million people, its sounds to me like JOBS JOBS JOBS. I already see construction jobs to build new clinics, I see jobs for IT workers to put records in the system and to keep up with the additional 47 million people. I see the demand for nurses, healthcare providers, administrative people, doctors. See beyond the status Quo. Don't let the lobbyist defeat us again.

    July 20, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  20. Charlie in Maine

    Intreresting. Are we surprised that these guys want healthcare to fail? They understand something that the thick headed Democrats in congress just don't get. If they pass healthcare reform the Dems will be absolutely un-beatable for at least a generation (see social security). Why there is any Democrat against this is beyond me. The GOP gets it and is right to be opposed from a political standpoint. From a moral one though...........

    July 20, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  21. SlowGun

    @b franklin July 20th, 2009 12:27 pm ET

    Steele is right!!..Please, someone name something that the government does better than the private sector…anything?


    ok I'll bite...

    Police Departments
    Fire Departments
    Justice / court system
    Post Office
    Highway system
    Public Libraries
    Public water systems

    But I guess because the government provides these, then they all must be socialist programs...right Mr. Steele?

    July 20, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  22. Bunch of Fools

    I am sitting here thinking how sad it is that King Obama can pretty much do whatever he wants and all the little people just continue to worship him. Their answer to everything negative is "you got a better solution" or "Waaaa republicans are only out for themselves" or "Bush had his turn". I mean come on. Yes the last 4 years sucked. Things have gone down hill. We need to fix the problem and you lazy ass americans who think everyone deserves stuff and should not have to work for it need to realize that this is what really got us into this mess. The government is just a tool being run by a bunch of tools. Obama is not doing that great of a job he is doing what makes the people happy which is spend! He should sit back and let the people fix the problem themselves. That will bring america back. That will level the playing field. Good luck to you minions of King Obama. I hope he turns out to be all you want him to be. It won't happen but I guess we all have to have a dream.

    July 20, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  23. cjr

    you got a plan- michael?? let's hear it. republicans are tied to the insuance companies who bought them. vote any and all republicans on every level out in the next election. and all elections after that. If theDemocrats don't do a better job – do the same to them

    July 20, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  24. John

    I wish Bush could be our President for the 3rd term:
    1. Mislead Americans into Iraq War.
    2. Intelligence Report that Iraq has WMDs Forged and Fabricated.
    3. 4300 US Troops Killed.
    4. 45000 US Troops Permanently Disabled.
    5. Still we are not safe.
    6. Economy is Shambles.
    7. No Regulations for Banking and Finance.
    8. Torture of Prisoners.
    9. Wiretapping.
    10. Failure to act during Katrina.
    11. No Health Care for most Americans.
    12. Death of Auto, Iron and Steel, Textile and other Industries.
    13. Falsely stating “Mission Accomplished”.
    14. Falsely stating “Our Economy is still Strong”.
    15. Highest Unemployment ever.
    16. Highest Budget and Trade Deficit ever.
    17. Failed foreign policies and relations with other Countries.

    July 20, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  25. OldUncleTom

    The GOP's greatest fear is that this and other programs may actually work. I think Eisenhower was the last Republican to accomplish anything positive for this country, with the Interstate Highway System.

    Virtually every other form of progress has occurred on a Democrat's watch. This would scare me too, if I confused "leadership" with a "deer in the headlights" mentality.

    July 20, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
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