August 15th, 2009
10:14 PM ET
14 years ago

No 'silver bullet' to health care overhaul, Obama says

(CNN) - There is no "silver bullet" solution to health care overhaul, President Obama said on Saturday, but the system needs to change to avoid "a world of hurt" down the road.

"There is no perfect, painless silver bullet out there that solves everyone's problem, that gives everyone perfect health care for free. I wish there was," Obama said in a town hall meeting in Grand Junction, Colorado.

"I can't do it. Nobody can. What I can do is try to sort though what are all the options available, be realistic about where we're going on health care, say to myself if we keep on doing what we're doing, we're in a world of hurt."

If health care reform fails, Medicare and Medicaid risk going broke, state and federal budgets will be unsustainable, "and then we're going to have to make some really bad decisions where we have no good options," Obama said.

Obama's comments came in response to remarks from an audience member about the increasingly contentious tone the health care debate is taking, in Congress and in town hall meetings held by lawmakers around the country.

"Is it not time that something be done?" the man said.

In responding to the man's question, Obama also criticized opponents of health care overhaul, especially members of Congress who he said reduce the debate to scare tactics and mischaracterizations.

Updated: 10:14 p.m.

Full story

Related: Health care in America

Filed under: Colorado • Health care • President Obama
soundoff (89 Responses)
  1. Rob

    If there's no "silver bullet", then for Pete's sake stop pushing so fast and putting up arbitrary deadlines. Most all of us want health care reform, just not Obamacare!!!!

    Murtha is right; we can do this but we need to take the time to make sure it's right.

    "Measure twice, cut once".

    August 16, 2009 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  2. lyn,from Osoyoos,B.C Canada near the American border

    God bless our President,he is working every day to help us all, so please stop critizing the President and help him fix the health care,for all you people who is bashing the President it is looking very bad all over the world and our enemies is laughing at us Americans, so please stop.Thank you CNN.

    August 16, 2009 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  3. Joe

    if Medicare and Medicaid are really going broke, how is adding 30 million people to the system going to help us avoid pain in the future? The real debate is how the heck is this going to be paid for?

    August 16, 2009 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  4. Hope

    We need change now and a strong public option period, we are fed up of insurance companies taking us for a ride. We are not asking for free medical care we are asking for affordable public option. Why is it we are being force to get health insurance from insurance companies, this is not sustainable.

    August 16, 2009 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  5. richard

    Obama stop you'll be famous even without ruining our lives you don't need to be infamous

    August 16, 2009 01:19 am at 1:19 am |
  6. AL

    So what CNN is leaving out is that Obama also mentioned that these GOP members of Congress who are riling up people talking about death panels in reference to end of life counseling are the same ones who voted for and supported these provisions in the Prescription Drug Bill and even in this bill a few weeks ago. Why not show the hypocrisy here? Grassley was one of them. Issackson of Georgia as well... and a host of others. Palin supported this counseling as Governor... now she is afraid of them. Look out America. If you swallow these lies, we will end up with a Bush in office again.

    August 16, 2009 01:24 am at 1:24 am |
  7. T Mckinley

    A number of people who oppose both health care reform and President Obama, have been screaming, "I want my country back!"

    Which "country" are these people referring to?

    Pre-civil rights America, where blacks had to sit in the back of the bus, had to use "colored only" bathrooms and drinking fountains, etc., and were not allowed to vote or hold public office?


    Pre-civil war America? (Do I really need to explain this one?)

    Again, which "country" do these tea partying, anti-health care reform, and anti-Obama protesters want back?

    August 16, 2009 01:28 am at 1:28 am |
  8. marylander

    i just cant trust the president i voted for,he talks too good as he doesnt need to think before saying.He appears everywhere and involves everything.Maybe we need to call White House if we have personal or family problems so he has more to do in the next 3 and half years.He needs to be trained to be called U.S.President because he is more like a communist leader.Send him to Vietnam where people ignore government s too good to be true empty promises.The change we will get?WAIT FOR NEXT ELECTION.

    August 16, 2009 01:31 am at 1:31 am |
  9. Jetty

    Inclussion of a Public Option Plan is the only way Congress can make a meaningful reform to health care in America.

    August 16, 2009 01:54 am at 1:54 am |
  10. Phoenix

    Great job Mr. President. The 'Public Option must be included in The Health Insurance Reform. The non-profit health insurance public option will have the intent to "make people health and all profit will go in to making people healthier". A for-profit health insurance plan intent is to "make people heath and the profits go to share holders".If profits fall short they will have to come up with a model to make a profit. mostly done by cutting services or raising fees. You see it's all in the intent of the goal of the company. If we were talking about a cable or phone service it does not have life and death consequence. Health Insurance Reform do.

    August 16, 2009 01:59 am at 1:59 am |
  11. Anonymous

    Peolpe can still yell, kick scream spread lies and use fear tastics all they want but i truly believe GOD is for this Health Care Reform and all the President have to do is hold firm and put people first, Its not about polictics or who will win the next election maybe those opposing this is only concern about winning in 2010 and 2012 or how to defeat the President but if thats whats its about the they already lost, I really donot believe this President is concern about getting relected but his main concern is about people well-being,if he didnt care he would have been given up. We wil get lH. C.R. watch and see paid for and it will be a good plan along with it,. GOD is about helping people not polictics thats why it will not please everyone but it will l benefit everyone.

    August 16, 2009 02:23 am at 2:23 am |
  12. Independent

    I wish there was too, Mr. Obama. You know, I read about Mr. Richard Nixon and what he attempted to do way back in the day and it's amazing to me how much things have changed between the two parties. I mean, besides the obvious Watergate stuff Nixon went through, he was exploring the option of universal health care. The very sort of thing that Republicans today are opposing like as though it was hell on Earth. I have insurance through my employer that is great, but I can see how much health insurance costs have risen over the past several years, and I say it's time to just agree with Obama. It's time to get some things done for once in Washington! I hope Obama has a good strategy against the special interests who want the status quo (i.e. more profit). Screw people who want to make more money instead of valuing life! That is so terrible on so many levels that it can't even be explained in words.

    August 16, 2009 02:32 am at 2:32 am |
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