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. OH Please Jack

    Mr Murtha, I certainly do respect your advise on war matters but IF you had wanted to run the country you should have ran for President. NOW having said that. Shut up and let the President do his job and for goodness sakes give him the support he needs to get a job done. For this non support from you, I am very suprised. I thought better of you.

    August 14, 2009 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  2. ilene

    murtha -the longer you wait –this will only get worse and we will loose the whole thing-- push it through and we can correct it later. just make a plan just like medicare--it is marvolouse. it is sad to see these greedy old grey hair people worried they will lose a dime. and we have a younger generation who is really having it rough-i am ashamed to be a old medicare person.

    August 14, 2009 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  3. mb[texas

    RepMurtha needs to get right and push Pres.Obama health care program.As always the congress can not get together and work out a bill discuss it and then vote to pass health care bill.People are hurtuing out in the country.Democrats should get behind the President's program and pass the bill.But again lot ponying around and nothing is happening where is the Speaker she is not doing her job.Democrats put the pressure on your own, then on the Republicans..The Republicans are sitting back and letting the Democrats shoot down health care reform.

    August 14, 2009 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  4. caminito

    How is it possible that a guy like Murtha, who has many questionable connections within the defense industry, yield any influence within the Democratic party ??

    August 14, 2009 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  5. Right Leaning Independent

    Never thought I would agree with Murtha but I find myself in total agreement!! Get healthcare right and take whatever time is necessary for it to happen. Rushing a bad bill through is worse than where we are today!!

    August 14, 2009 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  6. Tatianna

    In agreement with Murtha

    August 14, 2009 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    this thing is over......Obama needs to let it die quietly and realize he is Carter II

    August 14, 2009 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  8. Legna

    Murtha has proven to be insignificant ....Nothing he says or does will get himself elected again ....GOOD BYE..

    August 14, 2009 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  9. Jon in VA

    This ia prime example that says Presidents do not / should not make policy. They can advocate for it, but in the end Congress is the policy makers and they need to start doing their job. Despite what golden words are being said by the white house and others, I challenge anyone who can name a public plan in the world that does not have some kind of rationing. I have looked, some are better than other yes, but of the leading nations, they all have rationing. To say we won't have it is a plain lie. The White House and Congress needs to stop lying to us. I am RN in an ICU. I think we need rationing so much money is wasted on the last few months / year of people's lives. Just don't lie about it, tell us the truth for once. But they won't because in the end they only want to be re-elected, Dems and Reps. Time has come for Congressional term limits! Yeah I bet that will ever happen, but it has been way too long for it not to.

    August 14, 2009 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  10. RR

    IS there not enough pork in the health care bill for Murtha?

    August 14, 2009 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  11. Henry Miller, Cary, NC

    Gee, another sensible Democrat who's declined to drink the kool-aid.

    August 14, 2009 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  12. Mike O

    When even John Murtha wants to put the brakes on, it's time to run up the white flag on this dog. Try again, with stuff that doesn't require 53 new departments and doesn't gut what currently DOES work.

    August 14, 2009 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  13. Tatianna

    I totally agree with Murtha on this is

    August 14, 2009 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  14. liz

    I'm seeing lately how true the joke is about not belonging to any organized party, I'm a Democrat. as hard as it is to get Democrats to agree and get things done, the good thing is that it proves we are capable of individual, independent thought, not a bunch of mindless sheep like the far right. I hope, though, for the good of the country, the Democrats in congress can get on the same page as the people who elected them and get real health care reform passed and soon. and please don't bother eviscerating the bill trying to appease the republicans, who have already sworn not to support it. just do it right!!

    August 14, 2009 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  15. Msenforser

    Translation: the bill is circling the drain.

    August 14, 2009 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  16. oldswede

    Time to cut this corrupt old barnacle loose. He's a real liability.

    August 14, 2009 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  17. George

    Hey Murtha, is Specter a better Demoocrat than you? I am from Pennsylvania and you can be replaced also. Do your job Murtha.

    August 14, 2009 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  18. AndrewCPA

    wow. I think this is the first thing he has said that I can agree with. "...We're going to do it right when it's finally done." And I am a Republican. I wish more people would state the same thing. If this is going to happen, take your time and focus on the root cause of why cost go up every year by double digits.

    August 14, 2009 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  19. DA

    The Democrats are about the worst bunch of elected official I have seen in YEARS!!!
    They have a chance to really do something yet they are scared to do it because they are more concerned about getting re-elected than doing the right thing for the majority of American who really need Healthcare!! Murtha knows the more they delay the better the chances no bill will come out and their chancesof getting re-elected would be better!!! Do what the leader of your party and what the majority of Americans want!!!

    They are A BUNCH OF IDIOTS!!

    August 14, 2009 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  20. MLH

    Why don't we just tally up daily each death that occurs in this country that is due to the victim not having access to the health care that would have covered the testing or treatment that could have saved them. Then maybe we can get some momentum going. If you could see such a list, Mr. Murtha, and watch it grow day by day, would you be willing to move a little more quickly?

    August 14, 2009 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  21. Sandra, Atlanta

    Neither the Democrats or Republicans have the American people's interest at heart. It's all about them and getting re-elected. Republicans lie to keep the health care industry rich and make Obama look bad and Democrats don't have the common sense of a flea. I am definitely for term limits. Throw all the bums out!

    August 14, 2009 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  22. dinah

    Murtha is stalling. I agree time is needed but not that much. There are good minds working on this. I would suggest he get with it.

    August 14, 2009 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  23. IS IT 2012 YET ??

    Hopefully, there are some adults on duty at the Democrat Party.

    August 14, 2009 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  24. paul

    This guys needs to be updated because they are out of service. The more you wait the more people loose their insurance and the more people died. Murtha you cannot be reading this bill for ever. We need it now now.

    August 14, 2009 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
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