July 21st, 2009
01:06 PM ET
12 years ago

Obama criticizes political motives of health care reform opponents

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama said Tuesday that political motives are behind Republican efforts to block health care reform in Congress.

In a Rose Garden statement, Obama said Republicans "who openly announce their intentions to block this reform" would "rather score political points" than confront an ailing health care system that is draining the federal budget while leaving 46 million Americans uninsured.

"Time and again we've heard excuses to delay and defeat reform," Obama said a day after the chairman of the Republican National Committee and a leading conservative columnist both called for blocking health care legislation being debated in Congress.

CNN Radio: Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley on the health care battle

The president said such tactics "play the politics of the moment instead of putting the interests of the people first."

"Some will try to delay action so that special interests can kill it," Obama said. "We can choose to follow that playbook again, or we can come together and insist this time will be different."


Filed under: Health care • President Obama
soundoff (132 Responses)
  1. William McMahon

    Of the 46 million uninsured "Americans" almost 10 million are NOT American citizens. A further 8 million earn between $50,000 and $74,999 per year (why they can't afford insurance), and another 9 million earn over $75,000 per year. That leaves about 19 million uninsured American who perhaps cannot afford coverage. How many of those can be insured and choose not to be. I would like the press to discuss the facts rather than passing along numbers without challenge.

    July 21, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  2. The Constitutionalist

    While I'd love to believe there aren't any purely political motives in Washington, I'm not that naive. That being said, maybe most normal people oppose this from a point of view that is more pure. Maybe there opposition is based on the fact that healthcare for all is not a Constitutional right. Maybe they don't want to give so much power to what Constitutionally speaking should be our weakest form of government. Maybe they believe that healthcare is something that should/does fall under the 10th Amendment. Maybe they believe their federally elected representatives should READ a bill prior to signing it. Maybe they want it done the right way and want a Constitutional Amendment giving the federal government that power. Mr. President, while I absolutely agree there is WAY too much politics in Washington, please don't assume that politics are the driving force behind NORMAL people's opinions.

    Just a thought.

    July 21, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  3. lynn in NM

    "Rather score political points"???? How about "listening to their constituency", or "realizing how much this is going to cost"? How about "they're using their common sense"?

    July 21, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  4. GI Joe

    I found the following very interesting.

    Even if health care is NOT passed, Obama can still buy any insurance policy he wants. Our Congress still gets health care paid by us. The Insurance companies can continue to make their profits that go up by the billions every year.

    Little People are the only ones doing without because of the failing system.

    Makes you wonder why the fight? Let the Republicans win – let them get their money from the Insurance Lobbyists. Doesn't affect me. Does it affect you?

    July 21, 2009 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  5. chuckd

    Looks like the President is fighting a 2 front war on health care. One war against the Republicans and another against his own party.
    Hang in there Mr President, its time to draw a line in the sand. All Democrats that do not support the President on health care will have to answer to the people in 2010.

    CBH

    July 21, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  6. Candy West Virginia

    Repuklicans will support gun rights for everybody but oppose oppose health coverage for all.

    July 21, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  7. Adam

    So are all the Democrats that are opposed playing politics? What's the mad rush to push legislation that doesn't go into effect until 2013? The longer Americans get to evaluate this bill, the more we will be against it. He's using the same language that he used for the miserable stimulus plan. This guy sucks.

    July 21, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  8. katiec

    The GOP is a disgrace.
    A political group that puts party, winning at any cost over the welfare of our country and us does not deserve to be in office.
    A party who is out to destroy our president, our country and us, regardless of the consequences, is as unAmerican as they come.
    A party who totally supports big business, lobbyists, special interests over the American people has totally lost it's way and any integrity and honor they once had.
    The American people will not allow them to deny what we want, expect and demand. We will not support their constant lies, distortions, hypocrasy and domestic terrorists tactic.
    How sad that politicians have stoooped to this level.

    July 21, 2009 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  9. TangledThorns

    Um, Mr. Obama, are you not aware that even your own Democrats are against the current Health Care bill? You suck at playing the blame game. Especially when you have the super majority.

    July 21, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  10. Bill, MI

    Obama, people of this country have given enough to the GIMME, GIMME porch monkies in society you and the Dems. suck up to with others peoples money. That is why they never go any where in life, to much taking care of people, you know don't worry we will pay for you from the craddle to the grave. It is high time people start taking care of themselves and not relying on big brother for there daily needs.

    You are the worst SO CALLED president in modern time.

    July 21, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  11. JAY

    They don't want to bankrupt America and Obama puts the welfare
    of the people last.

    July 21, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  12. Cowboy in West Texas

    I agree – both parties delay and resist for polictical motives – but I think getting it right is so much more important then being politically correct.

    July 21, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  13. jerry

    Boy is he so full of himself, if you wan health care done correctly,
    then there should be no time table. Does not need to be done asap!
    And last time I checked, the democrats are the ones making a mess of it, thank god for democrats.

    July 21, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  14. The socialized medicine word under Obama is a LIE....

    Obama has a few tricks up his "sleeve" for Republicans on health care. He'll come to the negotiating table with additional unannounced cuts already take, and not mentioned within the CBO calculations from last week. Then, Obama will insert those new variables into a new formula making the health care legistlation available without increasing our deficit. After this math lesson leaves critics who support the status quo of health insurance companies with their mouths open, health care reform will be passed.
    The public option isn't socialized medicine. Socialized medicine is defined as a system with a CENTRAL LOCUS OF CONTROL. A health insurance market place with private insurance and a public option available doesn't make health care socialized. Now, if conservatives are willing to lie to us about something so important as health care, why trust their input on health care reform??? They've had 20 years to tackle the problem and never to any time for even offering suggestions.

    July 21, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  15. munchmom

    I guess this means you will take your toys and go home-puhleeessss!

    July 21, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  16. DannyJa

    Then why do many Democrats oppose it? Why do the majority of Americans oppose it? Is this guy delusional?

    I'd love to see if he'd sign himself and his family up for this health insurance. I'd love to see if he makes it mandatory for all elected officials to use this plan. Then, he'll get my support.

    July 21, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  17. S M R

    This is pure Politics from the GOP. They don't care what's best for our Country, they only care that with Health care reform they won't be able to rip off the American Tax payer. The rich are so evil and selfish.

    July 21, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  18. The socialized medicine word under Obama is a LIE....

    Obama has a few tricks up his "sleeve" for Republicans on health care. He'll come to the negotiating table with additional unannounced cuts already calculated, and not mentioned, within the CBO calculations from last week. Then, Obama will insert those new variables into a new formula making the health care legistlation available without increasing our deficit. After this math lesson leaves critics who support the status quo of health insurance companies with their mouths open, health care reform will be passed.
    The public option isn't socialized medicine. Socialized medicine is defined as a system with a CENTRAL LOCUS OF CONTROL. A health insurance market place with private insurance and a public option available doesn't make health care socialized. Now, if conservatives are willing to lie to us about something so important as health care, why trust their input on health care reform??? They've had 20 years to tackle the problem and never to any time for even offering suggestions.

    July 21, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  19. Hammerer

    Obama is saying that the Repubs are politically motivated?
    What in the world is his motivation? Tax the rich and give to the lazy? Spread the wealth. That is socialism pure and simple.
    Accuse someone of playing politics when all the time he, Pelosi and Reid are using every trick in the book from threats of all sorts, political attacks, retailation to promises of committee positions or cash for votes is more than politics, it is disgusting.

    July 21, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  20. Dave in Illinois

    What a ego this man has! He can not even consider that there might be legitimate concerns over his health care agenda. (I can't call it his plan because he's abdicated responsibility for any planning to Congress.)

    If he can't accept that there are two sides to an issue, how can he expect bi-partisanship which requires reasonable compromise. I'm glad there are some cooler heads in the Senate on both sides of the aisle who will not try to demonize everyone who disagrees with them.

    July 21, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  21. Hugo

    What a joke, before the special interests kill it, right! Anyone else watching the special interest groups at work in DC right now running the House, Senate and Whitehouse? Are government lawyers a special interest group?

    Obama, forget the frumpy pants man you throw like a weenie arm!

    July 21, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  22. Tulsa

    Yes, the GOP sees this as an opportunity to "kill him" as Demint said.
    So you see, once again the Republican party is more interested in political gain than actually HELPING the situation for their constituents.

    July 21, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  23. Bill

    Guess he hasn't yet ginned up enough fear. That tactic is really getting stale.

    July 21, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  24. jae

    I concur with my President. There has to be some type of Health Care System in the United States. Other countries that are much less fortunate than we are in the United States have adequate health care for their citizens. Under the Clinton administration, the health care agenda fizzled, and the GOP is attempting to sabotage our current President's agenda as well.

    We cannot afford to let millions of citizens suffer due to political strife, and, to be perfectly honest, selfishness on the part of our leaders.

    Mr. President, you are doing a tremendous job. Your earnestness, forthrightousness, and genuine concern and empathy for the American public will prevail. Thank you, Mr. President.

    July 21, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  25. wiseone

    this is so trifiling of the repubs..anything to block whatever the president says!!!!!!!!!!!!it does not matter if the best interest of this country is at stakes!!!!!!!!!!!!!! simply stupid!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 21, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
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