August 14th, 2009
06:21 PM ET
13 years ago

Murtha differs from Obama on health care timeline

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Rep. John Murtha said Friday that a major health care reform bill might not pass until January 2010 or later."](CNN) - A bill to overhaul the nation's ailing health-care system may not pass until January or later, Democratic Rep. John Murtha of Pennsylvania said Friday.

His comment to CNN affiliate WJPA differed from President Barack Obama's repeated insistence that Congress will pass a health care bill by the end of 2009.

Speaking in Bentleyville, Pennsylvania, Murtha said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wanted a health-care bill passed before the current August recess.

"She said we're going to have it before we left," Murtha said. "We said, 'No, no, we want some time to think about this.' We're taking some time to make sure it's done right. I don't know that we'll get something done before January, and even then we may not get it done. We're going to do it right when it's finally done."

There are deep divides between Democrats and Republicans over the health-care issue, and Murtha said more time is needed to come up with a solution that works.

"We said to the speaker, the leadership, let's not rush this thing," he said. "Let's do it right, so we'll have a uniquely American plan, if the thing passes."

Some town hall meetings on health care have erupted in emotional and angry debate, and Murtha said such a response is natural in uncertain times such as the current economic recession.

"I understand why they're against it - they're worried it's going to harm their health care," he said. "But we're going to work it out."

Filed under: Health care • John Murtha • President Obama
soundoff (61 Responses)
  1. Sam

    He's toast anyway, in more ways than one, so he HAS to say this to have any hope.

    August 14, 2009 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  2. vick

    no we need it now!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 14, 2009 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  3. Alicia

    I have always supported Murtha. I want to know where he stands on Public Option.

    Does anyone notice anything about 'who' attends the town hall meetings. White, Over 50 Years of Age and no doubt if not on Medicare or Medicaid as well as Social Security, soon will be.

    I think for all those that do not want the government in their health care that are on Medicare or Medicaid to get off.

    August 14, 2009 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  4. Don

    Wow...for the first time i agree with this old guy!

    August 14, 2009 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  5. Neutralizer

    Finally! a democrap talking with sense.

    August 14, 2009 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  6. Recession surfing

    When are the troops coming home Mr Murtha?

    August 14, 2009 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  7. Anthony

    When it comes to something for the average person, certain groups always seem to stall....wake up America!

    August 14, 2009 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  8. Joanna

    Until there is a plan that brings price competition back to the point of sale, i.e. consumers have a financial stake in what their doctors charge and choose their physicians based on quality of care and price, then the system will remain broken. Until we address the consolidation in the health insurance industry which is stifling price competition resulting in 20% policy premium increases year over year across carriers, the system will remain broken.

    Healthcare refrom should not be about insuring the uninsured first. It should be about creating a healthcare infrastructure that puts an end to hyper-inflation of services and service fees. We need to get the cost of healthcare down before we add millions more into the system.

    August 14, 2009 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  9. bozo the obama

    why are you not in jail Jack boy? Even the liberal press knows you're the top crook in Washington.

    August 14, 2009 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  10. Simmy

    Be quiet, Blue Dog, before you end up in jail with your son.......Walk quietly and carry no stick......Kapeech?

    August 14, 2009 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  11. Idiot_Pelosi

    Hey, I got an idea.

    Let's take the PORK money back the this dope got from Obummer and pay for Health Care or legal Americans.

    That's a deal I can support.

    August 14, 2009 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  12. annie for Palin

    There are deep divides among the real democrats over these issues regardless of what their party members in dc think. The democrat leaders in dc for some reason all of a sudden think they are above the rest of the world and certainly they think they are much better and much smarter than their constituents,

    August 14, 2009 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  13. tjaman

    This has gone on long enough. There is no question of a "rush." This has been in front of us since Teddy Roosevelt's presidency! Everyone knows by now what everyone wants in the bills, and also what Congress is willing to pass. Everyone's freeqin' had their say and then some. Delay for any length of time is a TACTIC, meant to KILL desperately needed REFORM, so no more dithering or dawdling. On your bike, Congress. Return from your interminable vacation, conference this puppy and VOTE on it already.

    August 14, 2009 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  14. axh

    Trouble is most of your political counterparts only want to ram some plan down our throats, they don't care what's in this bill, just like the stimulus!

    NO to healthcare reform!!

    August 14, 2009 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  15. alvino

    Murtha, of all people, should understand why he should support health care reform.

    August 14, 2009 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  16. Save America

    Good. And you can start with tort reform.

    August 14, 2009 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  17. observer

    This old grandpa needs to retire. Ordinary peiople retire at 60, why not these corrupt politicians?

    August 14, 2009 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  18. elana


    August 14, 2009 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  19. Four and The Door

    I've got to agree with Murtha on this one. I guess there's a first for everything. But yes...this needs ( and merits! ) more time to get it right.

    Better yet, try this when unemployment is not double digits and climbing. This is a huge financial bet just when we are trying to keep our economy from tanking completely. Bad timing for this deal! It might be what they consider good political timing, but for America this is about the last thing we should be considering right now. First we should just get back to work!

    August 14, 2009 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  20. SenCNNtive


    August 14, 2009 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  21. Mariann Pepitone

    We don't need health care in this country. And why is Obama in a rush to push it thru. People that are on social security have a medicare card which pays 80% of the bill. If Obama passed a bill for people on social security to have a medicaid card also that would pay 20% of the bill only which means they would be clear of owing any money for doctor or hosptial bills. I am not interested in a health care bill that I can't read what is in it.

    August 14, 2009 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |

    Finally a smart democrate who works for the people who put him in office, rather than the Obama Socialistic Republic of Non-America supporters like the rest of the dems and some of the repubs who work on private agendas.

    August 14, 2009 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  23. Keith in Austin

    Murtha is a pork-filled blowhard personally responsible for wasting millions of taxpayer dollars on his disgusting airport. Don't believe a word this idiot says! This is probably an ulterior motive by trying to defray the heat his party is getting on healthcare! No surprise their poll numbers are dropping like a rock!

    August 14, 2009 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  24. HonestMistake

    Nothing wrong with taking your time and ironing out all of the details to make it the best it can be. Doing something because it is better than nothing never proves to be a good strategy.

    August 14, 2009 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
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