July 25th, 2009
12:28 PM ET
13 years ago

Obama challenges reform detractors to explain themselves

WASHINGTON (CNN) – President Barack Obama is soldiering on - apparently unfazed by growing dissension within his own party’s ranks over health care reform.

Related: House Democrats splinter over health care

Despite increasing signs that Democrats in Congress will not meet the August 7 deadline originally imposed by Obama for passage of health care reform legislation, Obama is challenging his political opponents to explain their opposition to reforming the nation’s health care system.

“I know there are those who are urging us to delay reform,” Obama says in his weekly address out Saturday. “And some of them have actually admitted that this is a tactic designed to stop any reform at all. Some have even suggested that, regardless of its merits, health care reform should be stopped as a way to inflict political damage on my Administration. I’ll leave it to them to explain that to the American people.”

Related: GOP ratchets up health care reform debate

Obama uses the bulk of his address to make the case that small businesses will benefit from Democrats’ health care reform plan.

Related: Dems' plan 'a prescription for disaster,' GOP says

Citing a report by the White House Council of Economic Advisers that was also released Saturday, Obama says small businesses are paying up to 18 percent more than larger businesses do for the same health insurance plans.

These higher costs, says Obama, cause small business owners to be less likely to offer health insurance in the first place, to offer less generous plans, to cut benefits, to drop coverage, to cut jobs, or to close their doors altogether.

“This is unsustainable, it’s unacceptable, and it’s going to change when I sign health insurance reform into law,” the president says in Saturday’s address.

Earlier in the week, Obama appeared to set a new deadline for health care reform legislation.

“Let me just be clear,” Obama said at an Ohio town hall-style event dedicated to health care Thursday, “If there’s not a deadline in Washington, nothing happens -nothing ever happens.”

Responding to comments earlier in the day from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid that the Senate was not likely to vote on health care reform before the start of the congressional recess on August 7, Obama said “[t]hat’s okay. I just want people to keep on working. Just keep working.”

“And I want it done by the end of this year. I want it done by the fall,” the president added.

Filed under: Health care • Popular Posts • President Obama
soundoff (183 Responses)
  1. Healthcare is a Right not a luxury

    We are the only civilized nation that does not take care of our sick!!!
    Shame on all of us. Republicans, as usual, want to take care of their friends and contributors in big business. They want to keep funneling money and business to these same people so as not to let others have an opportunity to grow and prosper. God save their souls. These are the most heinous acts imaginable. COMPASSION, LOOK IT UP.

    July 25, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  2. alvino

    The GOP does not have time for health care reform, they are still working on justifying torture, an unjustified war in Iraq, and finding WMD's.

    What a sorry hate filled bunch the party of "No!" is.

    July 25, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  3. Steve (the real one)

    I challenge him to explain whats in this bill. Where are the details, Mr. President? We have heard enough speeches and seen enough prime time specials, yet NO, ZERO, NADA details! If you don't know what is in this bill, you have NO, ZERO, NADA idea how this will affect us. We need, want, demand DETAILS! Why is this a secret? Whats being hidden from us? We want DETAILS! We want the truth about this bill!, BEFORE it is law!

    July 25, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  4. ib

    The King has spoken now bow and obey. Obama is the one that needs to explain himself; he doesn't even know everything that is in the bill and has admitted it. What a disgrace for a president this clown is.

    July 25, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  5. John

    Mr Obama
    You are correct that we need a major correction of the health care system. I strongly support that need.
    HOWEVER, a government run program is dead wrong. It will fail just as every government run program has. Social Security is a great example.

    Before we need a plan we need to fix the ridiculous costs.
    Start with a major revamp of the tort system.
    Allow interstate competition. One better allow global competition for plans, for care, for drugs.
    You have the right idea with the digital records.
    After we have opened the free market, which we don't have now, health care will be more affordable for everyone.
    Then if financial leveling needs to occur it can be discussed.

    July 25, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  6. maripil

    The democrats have always been the party of the people and I trust they will take healthcare reform at the earliest possible time to get everyone in good health and it is a good thing. The republicans as usual will be the obstructionist and the party of NO!! The right wing nuts have nothing better to propose on healthcare much less be bipartisan!!

    July 25, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  7. sifto77

    He should stop saying "let me be clear–then go on to expouse some "idea" that is murky and he has no money to pay for. Losing credibility because he does not know what to do.

    July 25, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  8. DJ in the Silicon Forest

    I think before this Government Funded Fiasco is passed, someone needs to insert into the bill that forces our Dear Leaders to disclose what the burn rate is EACH and EVERY month!!! The true and factual numbers, NOT some fuzzy, moving, obscure figure!

    July 25, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
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