August 24th, 2009
02:22 PM ET
13 years ago

Obama, Dems urged to find unity on health care reform

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="President Obama may face a backlash from liberals if a public option is stripped from a final health care bill"]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - With health care negotiations stalled until Congress comes back from August recess, a top Democratic strategist says President Obama and his party need to seize control of the debate.

"We need message discipline on the Democratic side," Democratic strategist and CNN contributor Donna Brazile said. "I can't speak for Republicans, but I can tell you, without message discipline, this has been a very difficult, uphill battle for the president."

Obama has spent the past week trying to put out fires sparked after his administration appeared to hedge on support for a government-run public option. Some of the greatest criticism is coming from liberals who are now threatening to vote against any bill that does not include such an option.

At a town hall meeting over the weekend, Rep. Maxine Waters, D-California, implored the president not to drop the public option plan and said his efforts to be bipartisan are futile.

"Yes, we know that you are a nice man, that you want to work with the opposite side of the aisle. But there comes a time when you need to drop that and move forward," she said. "We're saying to you, Mr. President, 'Be tough. Use everything that you've got. Do what you have to do. And we have your back.' "

At town hall meetings held by members of Congress in the past few weeks, angry voters have voiced concerns about government involvement in health care. Some have even resorted to violence and vocal anger. Watch more on the public option debate ยป

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, a liberal economist and Nobel Prize winner, said Monday that the debate over the public option is "dismaying in some ways."

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Filed under: Health care
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Fair is Fair

    Since when is Donna Brazile a "top democratic strategist"???

    August 24, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  2. Nagudcm Sugna

    Get ready for the cattle prod. Everyone needs to see things Barack's way or else. He was elected for change so why is everyone so against change now. Don't get mad when Obama starts forcing things his way. He was elected and everyone knew what they were getting. Stop the complaining and take your medicne.

    August 24, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  3. Randolph Carter the narcissistic elitist Obamabot

    No single payer system?
    No public option?
    Where's the reform?
    Have a nice day!

    August 24, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  4. Billy J Texas

    yeah.. I love the way folks look like they are practically standing in the audience with their fingers in their ears going 'nyah nyah nyah nyah' to keep from hearing what the rep is saying about the bill. They don't want to hear the truth, cuz that would mean they are wrong, so they totally act out like a child does throwing a tantrum instead of listening to the parent. (in my house that was a visit with a belt in the bathroom) amazing what brats we have raised. Jerry Springer your audience couldn't be bigger, I guess.

    August 24, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  5. J.C. - Independent & Insured

    I consider myself to be very conservative and yet I fully support the public plan, because that is the only option that will save us health care costs, which will be more out of control a decade from now. I think it is very wrong to call those for the public option liberals.

    I also want every American covered because some diseases do not discriminate the rich from the poor. If we can defend our country together, why can't we save one another together in illness?

    But everyone should pay for the public plan no matter how much or how little they make. There should be one tax rate on all incomes with NO LIMIT.

    August 24, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  6. D. Tree

    Its time to put politics aside and do what's best for the country: Our health insurance system is broken, just like Wall St was before the crash.

    If we don't do something about it now, we have no one but ourselves to blame in 10 years when Health Care costs consume more than 30% of our budget and Medicare is bankrupt.

    The President's plan makes sense and is supported by 77% of the American People. Pass it now or forever hold your tongue.

    August 24, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  7. single mom

    Mmm, Democrat in the White House. Democrat majority in House of Representatives. Democrat majority in the Senate.

    Someone explain to me again why it's the Republicans fault the health care reform hasn't gone through. The numbers don't add up anymore than the liberal/progressive arguments.

    August 24, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |