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. Capt. Snarky

    It's funny. The only thing I ever hear the Deceptacons say about health care "reform" is how/who's to pay for it. The only dicussion of cost-cutting is in regard to programs already in existence (medicaid, medicare). So, basically, they are looking for new revenues without any sort of cost saving measures in place? Sounds to me like costs ARE going to go up, cost savings won't materialize , and us TAX PAYERS (as opposed to the millions not paying taxes) will get to pay for it.....

    Good times, keep on Truckin!

    July 20, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  2. Expat American

    Michael Steele to CNN Blogmeisters:

    I don't have the burden of proof so I can criticize the President's plan without any concrete ideas of my own.

    And see these teeth? I got these courtesy of the USG health/dental insurance plan that none of you out there will ever have.

    chomp chomp Amigo!

    July 20, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  3. Donna from Colorado Springs

    Republicans use the same words every time they talk about Obama.....socialism. Can't they come up with anything better than that? I'm very tired of the same whining and complaining that the sky is falling from the Republican party. It's the same argument from them again and again. They really need some fresh material because they've worn everything else out! A word to Michael Steele.......no one cares or is listening to you or your opinions!

    July 20, 2009 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  4. Bob Myers

    It is a sad situation when we say we need to tax the 'rich' to help pay for Universal Insurance. HOWEVER, one of the 'reasons' there are people without the money to pay for these services is that the 'rich' got 'rich' by not paying the working man what he desrved, or they wouldn't be rich in the first place. When we have people making MILLIONS of dollars in salary and BONUSES, there is Cheating and Crookedness going on or we wouldn't have the mess to start with. Now we have a situation at hand where we ask out Congressmen to decide how to correct a mess. They are the least quailfied to do anything about it since they are a BIG PART of the problem with their bloated salaries, perks and completely FREE health care system that they have manipulated for the UN-INSURED citizens to, pay for. Talk about a mess. OBAMA+CONGRESS+THE RICH= A REAL MESS.

    July 20, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  5. Robin in Tampa, FL

    The Republicans are about as honest as a den of snakes if we are to believe they really want to fix health-care.

    July 20, 2009 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  6. Carole

    Your party fought Social Security and Medicare!!!!!!!

    Steele after the Supreme Court hearings and the way those White racist Republicans treated Judge Sotomayor, how can you as a Black man defend these crackers? Oh yeah, you hate being Black. I forgot about the self-loathing.

    July 20, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  7. gl, From Pittsburgh

    However, White House Budget Director Peter Orszag said the real purpose of Republican criticism is to slow momentum in hopes of eventually killing health care reform.


    July 20, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  8. panem et circenses

    Randolph Carter July 20th, 2009 12:56 pm ET

    God forbid we should make sacrifices to help those less fortunate than ourselves. Too much "I've got mine" attitude these days. Have a nice day!


    How selfish of me to not want to pay for illegal aliens' use of our healthcare system.

    How about we set up a voluntary contribution system to cover the uninsured? If you feel like you should be more generous, go right ahead and pay for the illegals and the 9 drug addicts that had $3,000,000 in ER visits in the last 6 years because of overdoses.

    I'll continue to do my charity work in my parish, working directly with people that I feel really want and deserve the help.

    That's fair, isn't it?

    July 20, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  9. Roger

    I find it strange that when it comes to health care or any other plan made by a democrat the republicans come out of the wood work screaming about $$$-taxes, –defecit–but if it money for one of their porky plans such as war--$$$ forBIG BUSINESS–take a good look at what bubba spent the 8 years he was in office, look at the cost the war is still costing us.....as for big business the GOP has destroyed the economy so all business are barely getting by...tell Stelle to go back in his hole & stay & take the rest of the GOP with him they have destroyed our nation...

    July 20, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  10. Stephan

    The GOP just wants to change the debate. They stay it's socialized medicine when the debate is affordable health insurance. My advice to Obama – redirect the debate to affordable health insurance. Private health insurance for a family of four costs $16,000 a year ($1,350 a month or 26% of gross income on $60,000 a year). If they GOP wants to stand up and defend the current health insurance industry and their practices be my guest. Once again, they prefer to be the G-NO-P, got 0 plan.

    July 20, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  11. Carole

    Your party fought Social Security and Medicare!!!!!!!

    Steele after the Supreme Court hearings and the way those White racist Republicans treated Judge Sotomayor, how can you as a Black man defend these crackers? Oh yeah, you hate being Black. I forgot about the self-loathing.

    Go shine Rush Limbaugh's, aka the drugster, shoes!!!!

    July 20, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  12. Anny

    None of the republicans have any better plan for Health Care reform.....at least the President is trying to help those who don't have health care........and that is the Christian thing to do.......instead of the rich not wanting those who can't afford it to go without.......sick and tired of these Republicans

    July 20, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  13. Fair is Fair

    Sniffit July 20th, 2009 12:57 pm ET

    Name another industry in which terrible service results in you NEEDING more service, whether you like it or not, in the same manner as the health care industry.

    The automobile industry.

    Name another profession where someone works fully 5 months out of the year to obtain insurance to protect themself from financial ruin should a user of his or her services decide to try to win the lawsuit lotto?

    July 20, 2009 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  14. Shucks

    Your a token Mr. Steele. Nobody is listening to you except maybe Limbaugh and Gingrich so they can deride you if you don't say what they want you to. Enough said.

    July 20, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  15. gl, From Pittsburgh

    He called for expanding the tax deduction on health care costs for employers to include individual taxpayers — what the Republicans call equalized tax treatment — and limiting medical malpractice lawsuits that he said drive up the cost of medical care.


    July 20, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  16. Ted

    George bush rammed through the invasion of Iraq based on lies and we are now one trillion dollars in debt.

    How convenient for Steele and the rest of the tiny brained GOP idiots to forget that the money spent on the stupid wars could have actually been been spent on healthcare for the citizens of America.

    what a novel thought? helping the citizens of america. I bet that never crosses the mind of any of the GOP clowns.

    July 20, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  17. Hugo

    Isn't it amazing how the Obama Administration has repeatedly dropped the ball when accurately reporting on every fiscal aspect of our economy, TARP, CBO, Healthcare cost, etc., etc.? I think the posts targeting only Republican officials as to the one's getting free healthcare are ridiculous. Look around liberals, EVERY elected official is on the free healthcare plan. VOTE EVERY CAREER POLITICIAN OUT IN 2010, REGARDLESS OF PART AFFILIATION! NO MORE LIFERS! RESCIND THEIR BENEFITS AND PENSIONS! THEY ARE WHY WE ARE HERE!

    July 20, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  18. Minnesotan

    Oh, look. Steele is rearranging the deck chairs on the sinking GOP ship again.....

    July 20, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  19. Moderate Democrat

    uly 20th, 2009 12:47 pm ET

    @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?
    Dude...you are so right...we should disband the military and privatize it! That darn socialist military thing! END THE SOCIALISM...disband the MILITARY! While we're at it....tear up them roads and get rid of the police forces.

    Or do you cherry pick your social programs that you are in favor of?

    July 20, 2009 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  20. TBA

    Steele is a LAMEDUCK. He has no control over the RNC or the GOP. Rush Limburger is in charge. Look at all of the GOP and RNC they all bow down to this drug addict, they all bow down and kiss this fat piece of lard.

    July 20, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  21. Tatianna

    America got what they asked for by electing Obama and dems. Their typical solution to problems and issues is higher taxes and spend spend spend. Dems blast Steele but remain quiet about Blue Dog and moderates also opposing Obama reform healthcare plan. Obama spreading fear by forecasting Armegeddon if congress doesnt give him everything he wanted and wants immediately. And they can always blame opposition if things dont go as planned. Their is evidence of a party swept up in its own revolutionary fervor caught up in the self-flattering belief that history has called upon it to solve all at once. Obama utters flowery vocabulary and his character is inspiring. But his actions betray a transformational liberalism that should put every common sense American ON NOTICE. Dont Blame Me, I Didnt Vote For – THAT ONE – !

    July 20, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  22. Mike b

    It's time to stop the out of control cost of unaffordable private insurance, and the only way to do that is through reform.

    July 20, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  23. Shawn - GA

    I have a question.... Are you ready tos top smoking a pack plus a day? are you ready to stop drinking in excess? Are you ready to change your diet? Are you willing to see a doctor every year for a checkup? Gov controlled healthcare will not be for you if you are not willing to do these things. Make no mistake about it, there will be a wellness clause to all of this (As there should be)

    I am scared by the many many...etc people who are rallying behind this plan simply because they are hearing free healthcare, yet they have ZERO idea of the details.

    I want to know the details before I am for or against this, why are they not giving us the details???

    July 20, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  24. Shucks

    If it were up to the republicans, who followed the idiot for 8 years, Social Security would have been privatized, and would have been a disaster after the recent crash on Wall Street. These are the kind of ideas the republicans would like you to think were good ideas. Forget that all Americans will have access to health care, just that the republicans really don't want this to go through as then they can't take credit for it. Although they really don't care if the middle class or poor are covered. They worry about one thing. Republicans, and not even the poor republicans. Fools.

    July 20, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  25. Marc

    Still, no viable solution proposed by the Republicans after non-partisan CBO showed supposed (and most likely to really exist) flaws in the Democratic proposition.
    Tax cuts not only doesn't works (By CBO's previous reports BTW) but also are clearly inappropriate for this situation so don't even start to recite the mantra.
    Show some solutions, because health care reform is needed no matter what poor and lame excuse ('socialized') you can come with Mr. Steele, so please show some viable solution.
    If there are flaws in the Democratic bill it's your golden chance to stop being nicknamed the 'Party of No'! It's your opportunity!

    July 20, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
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