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. political junkie

    President Obama is not trying to ram anything down the american peoples throats, George H, Ronald Regan, George W did a great job of that already!!!

    spending and taxing has been out of control under each one of these so called presidents.

    this health care reform has been debated and re-debated since Truman's Days.

    did you not see the joy on all of america's faces on election night?

    let's stop listening to the republican noise, and concentrate on our children and grand children's futures.


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

    So Bush/Cheney and their "GOP cohorts", FAILED MISERABLY in the 8 years we had to put up with them! What did Bush EVER do to help America????? Name one achievement, please! It certainly wasn't that we didn't go to war. Add 2 wars to his list! It certainly wasn't because of being honest! Every day we hear of another lie that Cheney/Bush accomplished! It CERTAINLY WASN"T BUILDING OUR ECONOMY~ We are in the biggest recession since the Great Depression. For sure, The Bush Administration didn't separate church and State! THE GOP DOESN'T WANT TO SEPARATE CHURCH AND STATE! EVANGELISTIC NARCISSISM AND GREED!! THAT'S THE MODEL OF THE GOP!!

    July 20, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  3. kgeukes

    And the village idiot speaks again

    July 20, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  4. Texas Observer

    Your comment is awaiting moderation. Republican's are back at it. It is unbelievable that American's don't have the courage to cut this party loose. If you have any doubts about this party, just think about this. This is the party that tried to push Sarah Palin on us. I rest my case.

    July 20, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  5. Dan Holiday

    Poor people are useless. And so are dims for that matter. Get rid of all forms of social welfare and thin out this growing, useless population.

    July 20, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  6. Bill Sampson

    Universal health care is essential. Get rid of the health insurance companies. We cannot afford them. Health insurance companies do NOT deliver health care. Just the opposite. Their goal is to WITHHOLD health care from Americans. Delivery of health care costs them money. Their sole objective is to collect premiums and keep as much of the money as they legally can. That means denial of coverage to folks they believe may get sick and denial of claim payments to those they do insure, whenever possible. It is that simple! That is the business model. That is their "job".

    Imagine the tragic waste of hiring tens of thousands of bureaucrats whose sole function is to deny coverage and deny claims payments. What a tragic waste of resources that could be deployed into the actual delivery of health care! Plus all of the marketing costs, the executive compensation, and redundant bureaucracies. All just a waste. They will eventually bankrupt this country and create untold misery in the process.

    If we let the big insurance companies derail meaningful health care reform again, we deserve everything we get (or, in this case, do not get). This is all about money and the insurance companies are lobbying heavily. Now is the time for the American people to speak up.

    July 20, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  7. kd

    check which health system in an rich country like ours works best and adopt it. Simple. Doesn't mean we'll be moving toward whatever that country's policies or politics are, it will mean we're being smart by learning from a working system.

    Health care right now is in free fall. It has to be fixed and Obama is the only person offering a possible solution. It's been in trouble and ignored, due to the Republicans, for almost 30 years now. Time for that to stop.

    July 20, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  8. Trade Freedom for Security, Lose Both

    Obama knows his health care bill is a POS. Why else does he want to cram it down Congress's throat and not give our representatives the time to adequately deliberate and come up with something that works?

    July 20, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  9. Tom L

    The racist comments from the so-called tolerant left are astounding. What does the color of Michael Steele's skin have to do with this issue? Yet, the only ones to make reference to his ethncity are democrats. You democrats are the ones that ALWAYS bring up race. ALWAYS. The difference between Republicans and Democrats is that Republicans don't care about race and Democrats always, always, always bring it up.

    July 20, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  10. VON BISMARK,Vienna.

    This guy is working very hard for his job. He will be the next black president!

    July 20, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  11. Nestor

    we get no information on the GOP alternative and we are automatically supposed to sway in their direction...it was following the GOP that got us in this mess. Who cares what happens to the rest of the world now. Its time America starts caring for Americans.

    July 20, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  12. Leonardo

    Simple Fact ask yourself all you naysayers of healthcare reform,, all those of you who are earning $250,000 or less.. scratch that, all those who are earning $100,000 or less.

    What happens if you lose your job today?

    I have a friend who got laid off, and was then denied new medical insurance because his BMI (body mass index) was too high!!!!!!!!!!!!
    He is healthy and plays tennis every week.

    What kind of a system are we paying into today?

    A system that rewards the rich, the lucky who have jobs and whose jobs pay insurance premiums, and neglects the people who fall on hard times. You or I could be next!

    Come on, we as a Christian country are better than that!

    July 20, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  13. jim - chicago, illinois

    with all this republican squawking that the sky is falling, i've yet to see a republican healthcare plan. why is that? oh yea, that's right, they have more fun pointing fingers than actually trying to accomplish anything...

    July 20, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  14. LacrosseMom

    @ dominican mama 4 Obama: Thanks!

    July 20, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  15. gl, From Pittsburgh

    Hmmm this is weird since Obama's health care plan was just endorsed by nurse's and doctors organizations including the AMA this week. Yet all i see on CNN and Fox is how the proposals are in danger. I wonder who is pushing the story for who nowadays.

    So it will pass this year because their is to much lose if it don't not pass.

    July 20, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  16. Cara

    The Republicasn continue to circle the drain.

    July 20, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  17. sensible Cape Coral FL

    The Drug Companies and Insurance Companies must be VERY happy with Michael Steele

    July 20, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  18. JA/TN

    America fund other dysfuntional programs, two wars, legislative salaries, etc

    July 20, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  19. JJ in Chula Vista, CA

    Republicans imagine that if the government cuts taxes on the rich business owners, then the rich will automatically create jobs for poorer people and provide more private health care for workers.

    The reality is: There's no guarrantee the rich business owners willk do this. This is the number one fallacy of the Republican argument.

    The Republicans also imagine that if government health care is approved, the people who already have health care and are happy with that health care will be suddenly and automatically forced to switch to the government healthcare.

    The reality is: Private health care providers WANT less options out there, so they can keep premiums UP and health care costs UP. This is a question of competition, and if the private health care providers can't be competitive with government provided health care, then they deserve to fail and another private health care provider will take their place. This is competition. If they can't do it, someone else can.

    Republican's arguments against health care reform are weak.

    July 20, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  20. Larry

    I sure wish the Republicans in this country would go back to work

    And NOT just with their mouths, as has been since January

    They have not done anything for this country in years

    I have no doubt if we were to stop paying their salaries

    We could better afford health care in America

    Most Americans in this country would get fired from their jobs on day one if they sat on their hands the way these Republican LEADERS ???? do

    July 20, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  21. HBO

    Michael Steele – The original oreo!

    I wonder what happened to him as a youngster that would make him into the person he is today.

    He is so sad... (equally as confused as Ron Christie)

    July 20, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  22. jurone

    ok steel whats your partys plan all we hear is obamas plan won"t work tell the american what will work thats what the american want to here

    July 20, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  23. LacrosseMom

    @ Stuffit:

    Listen, yes Obama has had no other choice than to increase our national debt! We get that! However............... Obama is dealing with the largest RECESSION since the Great Depression!

    BUSH had been warned back in 2007 of the impending real estate and banking crisis! HE DID NOTHING........ WHY? Bush wanted to continue enriching the upper 1% of Americans! Bush wanted to continue to wage a war. Bush's priority was not taking care of our nation, but "winning"!

    Now, OBAMA, comes along, and he has been handed a Nation fighting two wars, and economy in the tank, etc., etc.! And all you GOPers can do is complain, obstruct and demean!


    July 20, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  24. Michigan

    ...and the Republican plan is....?? Or is it protecting your $$ sources from the health care lobby...??

    July 20, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  25. dan, MI

    Dear Mr. Steele, Way to go. You are absolutely right. Barack Obama has blinded American people and some of them are still supporting Barack Obama and I am sure they will criticize you in these columns. These are all non-thinkers and they think Barack Obama is the messiah to them. He is going to save them and also give them money (Spread the wealth scheme). They are the ones here try to criticize GOP and it's members.

    July 20, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
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