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. Johnny

    To all you conservatives bemoaning the cost and the deficit, where were you when Bush and the GOP were running up the deficit? Oh but now suddenly it's a problem.

    We cannot afford to leave our health care system as is. Tax breaks isn't going to solve this one.

    July 20, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  2. Hugo

    Sniffit- Get real, the deregulation crap that got us here belongs to Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter. The failure of the Democratic House and Senate to take heed to the Republican warning regarding the Free Credit at Fannie and Freddie is what has delivered us to this economic point of disaster. The Obama Administration doesn't have a clue and is well on the way to self destruction, how can a spend to keep from going bankrupt philosophy be your plan?!

    July 20, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  3. tom

    I thought this article was about the republican health plan. I guess it was because it said nothing of a republican health plan.

    July 20, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  4. dominican mama 4 Obama

    @ Linda who said:
    Linda July 20th, 2009 12:54 pm ET

    Where is the incentive for our youth and young adults of tomorrow to achieve greatness, if they are going to have to carry the taxes of our country on their backs??


    This comment is a completely ludicrous reach. Are you serious? The youth of today would choose NOT to achieve greatness because of taxes.....the same ones we're paying now? Seriously?!


    July 20, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  5. Mike S. - Dayton, OH

    All of these people critcizing Obama and making light of his poll numbers don't even see what he has already accomplished on this and numerous other challenges facing this country. In the span of a few months he has elevated the profile of healthcare to where it should be in our discourse, a critical problem that needs to be addressed. He has spurred debate across the entire political landscape. He has congress working overtime coming up with proposals, having them evaluated, keeping them on a timeclock. He has brought the private sector to the table. In short he more than doing his job and is providing leadership on an issue that has been kicked down the road for decades. You know how much GW Bush accomplished in reforming healthcare? ZERO in 8 years – unless you count the Medicare drug act that he shoved down congress' throat, that costs five times as much as estimated and makes the government completely subordinate to the pharmaceutical industry.

    July 20, 2009 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  6. Doug, New Jersey

    It's funny how disagreeing with Obama's policies makes one a racist, yet Democrats calling Steele the N word is considered tolerance and the politically correct thing to do. Remember, it has and never will be about race, the Democrats and their media create a hate based society of double standards and division that is soley based on ideology. Steele is fighting the real major civil rights battle in America right now, every American should be free to choose their own views and have the right to support any party or ideology they want without any repercussions at all, which inclues harm to themselves and their families for doing so. It is amazing how a white guilt lib turns into the biggest racist and hater in America when a minority dares to be a free thinker. If white guilt lib wants to come face to face with a true racist, all they need to do is pick up a mirror.

    July 20, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  7. AJ

    I am sick and tired of all naysayers. Just get out of the way and let Obama implement his plan and if things go south everyone will have a chance to express their opinion in Nov. 2012. Until then please shut up.

    July 20, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  8. LoLo

    It is amazing how people can already see that the Obama Administration is a failure after only six months. Hell it took you eight years to realize that W made a mess. Go suck an egg. We have to try new ideas. The good old boys network of ideas is not working anymore. Furthermore Steele needs to go find out what is going on over at the cult house on C Street. I betcha he has not been invited to join. The healthcare reform will work I have no doubt so long as the pork is left out, and we know the republicans know their pork and will try to put it all into the bill. They are just trying to put fear in people and I for one am sick of it. They have made their money, now let the little people try to get their lives together. People that do not have to worry about money do not care about the little people.

    July 20, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  9. Darrel from Denver

    I am shocked and amazed the Republicans would fight Obama ...

    July 20, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  10. Kevin in Ohio

    For all those who say Republicans have no plan..... would Obama and Pelosi even listen??????? I doubt it. They are too absorbed in their own power to listen to altternatives.

    Do the dems EVER have a plan that doesn't rely on socking it to the "rich"? I wonder what the dems will do when there are no rich people left.............

    July 20, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  11. Simmy

    Steele, like Palin, has no clue what he's talking about......He's obediently reading something that was written for him maybe two hours prior to his recitation.....His only asset is that he is a great recruiter of the spineless......

    July 20, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  12. Nelson Colorado Springs Co.

    Believe it are not memder Congress,Senate Military and the President have very good health care plan, the American are paying for it Amazing how a lot of American surpport the war in Iraq spending a lot of money into the billions of dollar. But when it come to our own health care people don't want it saying to expensive, cost to much, don't need it. Right now the Republicans party back are againist the wall, they don't have a plan for health care so whine about the cost. I bet ya! Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele's have goverment health care plan, why not everone else.

    July 20, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  13. Gary D.

    The buffoon Steele is in great need of medication ...

    July 20, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  14. renea

    Why is so call Government run Healthcare good for congress and even you Michael Steele and not for the American people? If its so bad why not shut and see how it works So america can get the help they so desperatly need healthcare. And if its so bad then why all the fuss is about must be something good about it. Are you afraid its going to affect your contiuents?

    July 20, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  15. Robin

    Healthcare is a responsibility. Not a right.

    Do we need healthcare reform? Yes.

    Does it need to be affordable? Yes.

    Should we be expected to pay for healthcare for ourselves and our families? Yes.

    Should we be taxed to death to pay for someone who does not hold a job or prefers to purchase a BMW instead? NO!

    July 20, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  16. Gator

    Congress shall be idiots of a grand scale if they push this stupid healthcare bill through. It has not been thought out, the ramifications are unknown and how it will paid for is unknown. However obama and his cheerleaders are determined to push it through before august so he can tout, look what I did. All this is going to do is saddle the working class with more taxes so that the non working class can drain it through abuse.Course they have not shown much sense so far, signing bills they have not even bothered to read.

    July 20, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  17. Howard

    Pres. Obama's plan is not perfect. But your plan is ?????????

    July 20, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  18. Bradley

    Whoa!!!! Dude......did I hear you say that the republicans have never, and would never 'experiment' with the American peoples' well being or tax dollars.......???? How about you explain the war in Iraq, isn't that Georges 'experiment' for democracy in the Middle East?

    July 20, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  19. Charles

    He is simply OUT OF TOUCH to the reality of ordinary American life and today's pain for all American corporations & business that offer health insurance to their employees.

    July 20, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  20. johnnie

    Steele go back to (School) your (Clowing Yourself) , your making a (GOP FOOL) of yourself. Does he really (Believe) his own (HYPE).? You really need (PRAYER) your so (Lost).. What purpose does he provide to this (PART OF NO)............

    July 20, 2009 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  21. Dave

    Why can't Dem's read?? Republicans have two plans to overhaul our Health Insurance coverage problem in the Senate and one in the House, plus Senator McCain's plan to tax health care provided by your employer.

    Really like Senator Hatch's proposal to turn this into a S-CHiP type program where the money is given directly to the states to provide insurance coverage to the uninsured. Couple this with Senator McCain's proposal and tax ALL health care paid by your employer and America could cover the uninsured and pay for it without additional defiect spending.

    July 20, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  22. Mantan

    Mr. Steele is just a token for the Republican Party who dosen't realiz he's being used.

    July 20, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  23. mel

    It is sad that the GOP can't stop being negative toward Obama,
    he have not had a break for 2years. It took the GOP 8 years to
    create this bad economy and want the president to fix it in lead
    than 8months. This a way to see their way back to control and
    nothing else. GOP have a history of down playing with unfair talk
    and being negative. The healthcare plan will help this economy.
    The GOP need to let something work,they Busg everything with
    out being negative.

    July 20, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  24. EJ

    It's not only the Republicans that are "slamming Obama's plan." There are PLENTY of Dems that oppose it too, and apparently for good reason.

    July 20, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  25. Dave

    by the way, our wonderful Government will spend almost $4 TRILLION dollars in fiscal year 2009, and we ahve NEVER even spent $3 TRILLION in any given fiscal year.

    Want to help pay to overhaul our Health Insurance coverage problem, cancel the un-stimulus bill NOW

    July 20, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
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