September 17th, 2009
01:16 PM ET
12 years ago

Obama hits the road with health care reform message

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Obama hits the road with health care reform message."]

COLLEGE PARK, Maryland (CNN) - President Barack Obama took his health care reform message back on the road again Thursday, promising a raucous crowd of college students that Congress will pass legislation this year.

"We will get this done," he said at a campaign-style rally at the University of Maryland. "In the United States, nobody should go broke because
they get sick."

The president slammed GOP critics for attacking his reform plan to "score short-term political points." Some Republicans "want to kill Obama care," he said, but their solutions "amount to the same old, same old. ... I will not accept the status quo as a solution."

This "is when the special interests gear up" and spread distortions, he warned.

The president has increasingly tapped the "bully pulpit" power of the presidency in recent weeks to spark new momentum for his number one domestic priority.

Obama's latest remarks came a day after the powerful chairman of the Senate Finance Committee unveiled his long-awaited compromise health care plan.

Montana Sen. Max Baucus' proposal would cost $774 billion over 10 years while reducing the federal deficit by $49 billion, according to the
non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.

The plan would require all Americans to have health insurance, but lacks a government-run public health insurance option favored by Obama and most Democrats. The budget office review estimated the proposal would leave 25 million people uninsured by 2019 - about a third of them illegal immigrants - compared to 46 million people currently without health-care coverage.

The plan came under immediate criticism from Republicans, including three members of Baucus' Finance Committee who participated in months of negotiations with him and two other committee Democrats. Some liberal Democrats also dislike it for dropping the public insurance option.

The White House, however, welcomed the plan as a step forward in the health care debate. Baucus called it a pragmatic proposal with a realistic chance of passing the Senate and noted its similarity to a framework for health care legislation laid out by Obama during his speech to Congress last week.

The Senate Finance Committee is the last of five congressional committees needed to approve health care proposals before the topic can be taken up by both the full Senate and the full House of Representatives.

Various forms of the legislation proposed by Democrats have already cleared three House committees, as well as the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

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

    What have you done so far Obama. On the invasion of Georgia, by Russia? You will do just the same if Poland is invaded. But Europe wont. Your not needed Uncle Sambo (Obama).

    September 17, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    Dear Mr. President,

    I am 63 yrs. old and was layed off last year. I have been unable to find employment and have been on COBRA all of that time. I am now on disability due to having numerous life threatening illnesses. I will have no medical insurance after next May. Are you doing something in the health care reform that would assist me receiving a cheaper form of insurance?

    thank you.

    September 17, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  3. John

    I guess he figures if he says it enough times people will start to believe it, sorry Hussein we don't want it. Accept it and stop trying to force it on us, no thank you. Now go away.....

    September 17, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  4. Rob

    I'll make it simple for ya Barry:

    To all hard working Americans – you're screwed.

    September 17, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  5. Debbie

    Fired Up! Ready to Go!

    It was young adults who voted for Obama!

    If the GOP wants the votes they need to get on-board for Obama Health Care.

    Fired Up!

    September 17, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  6. white female

    MR. PRESIDENT, you Rock !!!!!!!! this is it. you must not stop keep rolling out your plan day by day, this is the crowd of americans that it must reach, because they are with you all the way.

    Go Mr. President

    September 17, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  7. Cindy PA

    85% of the American public don’t want it and will hang this bill on the Democrats and vote them out of office. Obama, the teleprompter president may see the light as too what the American people want. Stop piling on more DEBT, this is driving our nation into bankruptcy

    September 17, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  8. j

    Better late than never----– the "full court press" should have started when the party of NO ( surprise,surprise) came out against whatever the Demos. wanted. The Demos. should be the attackers now.

    September 17, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  9. R in Maine

    He is right about that. The scare tactics and lies are at high volume. It is all crap, and they say that there is no racism in it. Amazing what they are willing to say, and the disrespect that they are willing to show our leader.

    September 17, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  10. Predicta

    Won't make a bit of difference. American public has made up their minds and they don't want Obamacare.

    September 17, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  11. Offend Equally

    Stay out of my pocket. If i'm successful, I want to keep my money and not give it to the lazy and unwilling. Here's an idea: work hard, finish school, work hard and pay for your own stuff. Unless you are disabled or sick, you can rise above and succeed. Our president is a wonderful example of someone who made his own success.

    September 17, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  12. Elle

    I don't understand why those who most need this Health Care Reform are fighting against it. It's the rich Health Insurance industries that are getting richer and richer without good reform.

    God Bless you, Mr. President for caring enough for the American People, not just the rich industry guys.

    September 17, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  13. Tracy Green

    Obama is the greatest President we've ever had! The world might as well accept it.

    September 17, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  14. Buster

    Obama's on the road, AGAIN, planning which lie he will tell in his next healthcare speech. If Oliar REALLY cared, insurance ACROSS state lines and tort reform would be IN THE BILL.

    September 17, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
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