September 2nd, 2009
08:41 AM ET
13 years ago

WH senior aide: Obama considering major speech on health care

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="President Barack Obama is considering giving a major speech detailing specifics on what he would like to see included in a health-care reform bill."]

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama is considering giving a major speech detailing specifics on what he would like to see included in a health-care reform bill, a senior White House aide said Wednesday.

Senior advisor David Axelrod told CNN, the president is looking at the possibility of a speech as "one of his options" in pushing forward his health care agenda after he returns from vacation at Camp David next week.

Obama has outlined broad principles for what he would like in health-care
Reform, but he has left most details to leaders in Congress. Now, White House aides say, the dynamic has changed.

"We're entering a new season," Axelrod said. "It's time to synthesize and harmonize these strands and get this done."

Another administration official, speaking on the condition of anonymity when discussing strategy, said the new phase was "driven in part by the actions of some in the GOP, including Senators Grassley and Enzi."

The official added, the White House believes those actions indicate that the two key Republicans - Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Mike Enzi of Wyoming, who are part of a bipartisan group negotiating a health care bill, "are essentially walking away from the table."

The official also said that "now is the time to begin to pull together the various strands and solutions from the four bills that have been marked up and other proposals... basically all the cards are on the table."

It's unclear still what form the speech by the president would take. If he decides to give an address, he could do it from the Oval Office or before a joint session of Congress. But the administration official said no decisions have been made.

"The president is considering all of his options on how to advance the debate and get reform passed. This includes possibly laying out a more specific vision

Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (141 Responses)
  1. jaye

    He's just sitting back watching the republicans make fools of themselves, then he'll swoop in with the truth.
    The republicans are nitwits.

    September 2, 2009 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  2. Felipe in Seattle

    It's not a new season....the winds have changed, so Obama is changing his tune. The people who disagree with him let him know their concerns with his proposals, loud and clear. It appears he's now going to listen to them and re-assess his priorities. If he doesn't he will sink further into the slop he's made so far. Like alot of people were saying, the Presidency is no place for OJT.

    September 2, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  3. Larry

    It is a sad day in America when a man as great as Obama has to fight off people like there are in the Republican Party in his efforts to get Americans something as simple as proper affordable health care

    The Republican Part Of NO, should all be impeached for their crimes against the American people

    For their pursuit of lining their pockets with money, and supporting greedy Insurance companies, on the backs of the American Taxpayers

    They are a disgusting lot ...

    September 2, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  4. Bingo

    In order to win my support, any reform to health care must include:
    1. No increase to the deficit - if you want to increase spending on health care, decrease spending somewhere else
    2. No increase in any taxes, fees, surcharges etc to any group of American taxpayers and citizens. No "soak the rich" class warfare schemes. Pay for it out of existing funds
    3. No coverage for illegal immigrants. Not only no subsidizes, but no coverage period other that life saving treatment for humane purposes prior to deportation
    4. Most important, no exemptions/waivers/exceptions for ANY member of the government or their staffs. If it is good enough for the American taxpayers and voters, it is good enough for the elected and appointed representatives who work for us.
    No compromise on any of these points. If you want my support, meet all four fully and without nuance/loophole.

    September 2, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  5. jaye

    Ask all the people that are against healthcare if THEY have healthcare.
    Of course they do.
    And, John McShame saying to "slow down" is a shame – he should tell that to people that have no health insurance and no way to afford any.
    The republicans destroyed our country – and are going to make sure it stays that way.

    September 2, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  6. matt

    This is a lost cause. The people have spoken and the reality is that do not want the kind of health care reform that nancy peolosi or obama want. How can you possibly think cutting billions of dollars from senior citizens through medicare, who need it the most, and paid the most into medicare, is a good idea. They want reform but it has to be written by everyone involved, not one political extreme or the other. We also need to start trying to get some jobs back, and not just union construction jobs. We have over 30 million unemployed. Obama is wasting millions of dollars on pushing his idea for health care instead of using that money to get jobs back for the middle class.

    September 2, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  7. Joanna in PA

    He should. He needs to lead. He needs to show us why we elected him. All to often the dems coward out on things. We thought, finally a person that will have the Guts to get things done right for the benefit of our citizens. But on health care, he hasn't been showing us. NOW SHOW US MR> PRESIDENT!! Yes we can!

    September 2, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  8. jaye

    No matter what president Obama does or says the republican party will never help him pass healthcare reform. So, he needs to stick with the people that got him elected and stop worrying about the rest.
    His supporters will back him 100% – and we could care less about bi-partisianship. He should tell the republicans to shut up, and tell the democratic party to stop being wimps and scardy cats and pass healthcare reform!!!

    September 2, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  9. Carl

    Finally... we really need some specifics outlined to us in a easy to understand way so that we can get more people on board. Many of us are concerned since we don't know the details. I say go for it Mr. President.

    September 2, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  10. Mike R

    A speech would be nice, but voting on SOME form of a finished bill would be much better. I'm sure we could get at least half of the Senate to vote on one of the bills we've got.

    September 2, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  11. Ajay Jain, Garland, TX, USA

    By all measures a Bipartisan reform bill is out of question with two GOP Senators out of three in the Senate Finance Commitee who were negotiating turning their backs namely Enzi and Grassley. So that leaves just one odd vote for which we have accepted 160 GOP amendments!

    We should pass the Public Option with 51 votes, the Kennedy Bill in Kennedy's memory!!

    September 2, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  12. Doug, New Jersey

    Any person at this point who doesn't understand how evil and UnAmerican this administration is, needs to stop staring at their colon.

    September 2, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  13. Ken

    Obama needs to use his silver forked tongue quickly, or he will loose his opportunity to steal from those who produce, and give to those who neither produce, nor pay taxes, but vote Democrat. Of course he has already destroyed our children’s future under a mountain of debt. Bush with a Democratic Congress was bad, Obama is exponentially worse.

    September 2, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  14. Chris

    President Obama needs to talk about all the letters he receives from people who can't afford health insurance. There are millions of people in America who are need an affordable health care option. We all know the insurance companies will continue their rotten practices of denying coverage and raising premiums if there isn't a public option.

    September 2, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  15. Ajay Jain, Garland, TX, USA

    Use the legislative tool called reconciliation and pass the healthcare reform with 51 votes and call the GOP "revolution" bluff!!

    September 2, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  16. Shucks

    And the GOP is telling us about a revolution over healthcare? What is wrong with these people. In my opinion, what the GOP is really saying is we don't want an African American president to be successful in any way, shape, or form. Have you really listened to the town hall meeting? The people screaming the loudest really have no clue as to what the health care bill will do. They are screaming because that is what they are being told to do from every corner of their party. Your right there will be a revolution. It started in November, and the republicans won't be in control of it. Get used to it boys, you are the minority now, like it or not.

    September 2, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
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