December 6th, 2009
04:40 PM ET
6 years ago

Obama gives pep talk to Senate Democrats on health care

President Obama came to Capitol Hill Sunday to meet with Senate Democrats.

President Obama came to Capitol Hill Sunday to meet with Senate Democrats.

Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama met Sunday with Senate Democrats to try to rally support for a sweeping health care bill undergoing a heated debate in the chamber.

The gathering with the Democratic caucus lasted about 50 minutes, with Obama encouraging passage of the health care bill without talking specifically about all the outstanding issues, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said afterward.

One of those major issues - abortion - will come up Monday when the chamber votes on an amendment to tighten restrictions on federal funding for abortion by adding language included in the House version of the bill.

Obama's visit came amid a rare Sunday session for the Senate as it considers the Democratic proposal that so far is unanimously opposed by Republicans.

White House spokesman Bill Burton said Obama "thanked members of the Senate for their hard work so far and encouraged them to continue forward on this historic opportunity" to pass health care reform legislation.

"The question now is whether or not we're going to get it done," Obama told the senators, according to Burton.

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Filed under: Democrats • Health care • President Obama • Senate
soundoff (61 Responses)
  1. George Guadiane - Austerlitz, NY

    As I see it, since the medical procedure known as abortion is performed ONLY on women... Denying it would be unconstitutional no matter how the bill is written.
    Notwithstanding a woman's right to choose, any medical procedure that could be considered life saving for the woman could not be excluded for any reason.
    Having said THAT, I'm not a "pro abortion" person, I'm a pro life person by choice with the understanding, that under the law, everyone else has the right to make a different choice, and that as a man, I have no right to intercede against a (ANY) woman's wishes.

    December 6, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  2. The Party of NO stood calmly by for 8 years while the shrub raped and pillaged America, so, why would we listen to you now?

    So, why should the Dems include any of the republiklans in the negoitations, after all they have stated they want President Obama to "fail" and "want to break him". Seems anyone that wants the President to fail is also cheering for the country to fail, we have domestic terrorists, they are just called republicans..

    And no less, than the leader of the RNC, Steele himself, stated that "bi-partisanship was overrated".

    So, do not blame the Dems for simply avoiding the domestic terrorists and agreeing with their leader Steele.

    December 6, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  3. Obama/Biden

    Hello Mr. President You are certainly doing a great job and I like your agenda from the economy to healthcare and you are very honest with us when the republicans are not. They partner with the insurance company to lye to us with adds just to oppose change that is good for the people. Mr. President, I heard John McCain waiting to sit with you on Afghanistan and you should never sit with him and I believe that you have your advisors for that reason. So you do not need his advice. McCain went to war long time ago and the same old strategies that he has in his head from Vietnam cannot be used in Afghanistan because it is a different war. We need twenty first century approach for Afghanistan which I believe you and your advisors understand.

    December 6, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  4. Obama stinks

    Obama's Healthcare "reform" is the biggest joke out there. Everyone knows that it doesn't represent real reform. It's just a way for Obama to grow the government and hijack 18% of the economy (he's already taken over banks and GM... and is forcing his will on other aspects of the private sector).

    Only 36% of the public supports the bill, while 58% oppose it.

    Obama, Pelosi and Reid will go down in history as the biggest fools and most destructive scoundrels in US history if this monstrosity passes. Obama had my support until he proved to be an ideaological bafoon that supports corrupt labor unions, environmental loons and trial lawyer cronies more than the general US public.

    December 6, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  5. Truth-Bomb Thrower

    Isn't it funny how "healthcare reform" became "health insurance reform" as soon as someone mentioned the words TORT REFORM.

    Outrageous rewards and settlements and frivulous lawsuits are the main reason healthcare is so expensive in this country. But yet the corrupt democrats would rather protect the ambulance-chasing trial lawyers (one of their most reliable and generous contributors) instead of making healthcare more accessible to more Americans. Democrats don't care about the American people. They only care about POWER!!!

    December 6, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  6. terry,va

    I bet Obummie said do not send me a bill that has abortion paid for. He plainly said is his BIG SPEECH that he would not sign a bill that had tax dollars paying for abortions. He is the biggest LIAR I have even seen or we wouldn't even be talking about this!!!!!

    December 6, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  7. terry,va

    I'm tired of hearing about people not having coverage. Put the 10-15% that CAN"T physically work on Medicaid and leave the rest of us alone. People that are for this socialist agenda don't pay taxes. I think we should have a law that states if you don't pay taxes you don't get to vote and we wouldn't have people like Obummie in the White House.

    December 6, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  8. ib

    This so called heath care bill which is actually a gov. take over health care bill should be DOA. This country cannot continue to go down this road of uncontrolled spending. When are people going to wake up and realize this???? We should have some health care reform but not an out of controll spending gov. take over health care bill.

    December 6, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  9. U.S. Common Sense

    You know when you are flailing when you have to bring in the President to encourage your own party to vote for your flagship legislation. This is a good sign for those who are against the current Senate proposal.

    December 6, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  10. gary davis Harbor Oregon proud american

    anyone in the senate that won't vote on a public option health care bill is working for the insurance industry and not the american people whom voted them into office . and to those who don't want health care reform , I hope you loose your job as working for the people . 😦

    be american be proud and vote for health care reform ( PUBLIC OPTION )

    December 6, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  11. Texas Longhorn talks Truth

    The Anti-Christ has spoken to his band of immorals.

    December 6, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  12. Dan, TX

    I will do everything possible to take Texas back from the ultra-right. That may mean buying an extra AK-47, but whatever it takes.

    Note to FBI: I am not responsible for the content of this blog post nor do I endorse the buying of AK-47s for the purpose of killing members of the republican party. This blog post is solely for entertainment value.

    December 6, 2009 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  13. AJ

    I am a lifelong democrat and agree with "Party Purity." It is our obligation to help those in need. It is also our obligation to help the working poor, those which the current system leaves behind. I think the current health reform bill is unfortunate. It does little to contain raising cost of health care in America, and is a giveaway to the pharmaceutical industry and the health insurance industry. Perhaps it is what we must start with and the mere fact many currently uninsured will have access to health care is a plus. I beleive that only a single payer system will bring true reform to health care in America but I will continue to hope that Congress will pass he best bill that they can.

    December 6, 2009 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  14. Dan, TX

    Party of NO is better than party of YES. Democrats are trying to destroy our existing health care system just because few millions are without insurance.
    Come November, Democrats will get their lesson when American people will throw them our of the office. They desire it and Barack's days also will be numbered.

    December 6, 2009 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  15. jeff

    I am confused Mr. President if it was not a negotiation but a pep talk, why were the Republicans not invited. I guess transparency to you means close the blinds to the rest of the Senate. You invited the two Independents.... somethings don't seem right. The White House has had input into the bill and under the Constitution, I know the elected people forgot that is the rule of law, the President now waits for it to be delivered to the White House where he can sign it or veto it. This country is coming apart and we are going into bankruptcy. Maybe you can fire yourself like you are trying to fire the heads of companies we gave money to or at least give your salary back.

    December 6, 2009 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  16. blm

    All hail the messiah Obama. If he was a religious leader, the liberals would be burning him in effigy. Liberalism is a religion unto itself for all you atheists. Like any other cult, he is leading all his sheep to their end.

    December 6, 2009 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  17. Jeff

    Of course the Republicans aren't going to endorse any health care reform that will reduce costs to Americans. The health care industry has donated over $400 million this year alone to Republican campaigns to make sure that doesn't happen. The GOP doesn't want to bite the hand that feeds it.

    December 6, 2009 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  18. David

    I think it is absolutely impossible for this empty suit to go more than an hour without forcing himself into our lives. I'm so ready for 2012.

    December 6, 2009 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  19. Headed towards Failure

    obama's little visit to the hill indicates that he is seeing the truth, that this bill is headed towards failure.

    December 6, 2009 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  20. karen

    I am impressed by the level of intelligence of the discussions above...If only there were many more logical people like you....this world may be a better place.

    god bless obama and may me remain in the light.....

    December 6, 2009 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  21. Four and The Door

    The gathering with the Democratic caucus lasted about 50 minutes, with Obama encouraging passage of the health care bill without talking specifically about all the outstanding issues, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said afterward.
    Obama doesn't care what passes anymore. This where he is out of touch with Americans. Americans do care what kind of plan they get for their $1 trillion. The problem is, they are realizing that all this is buying is more expensive health care and bigger government. No thanks.

    December 6, 2009 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  22. Ancient Texan

    Maybe in 2012, we'll get a president that is the leader of all the people, not just the Socialist Democrats. He totally ignores anyone that isn't on board with his agenda, and that includes a huge number of voters.

    December 6, 2009 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  23. Kate

    Obama has sold out to the pharmaceutical companies and Wall Street. If this plan passes our health care system will decline and we will have rationing and higher taxes. I resent the high taxes that I pay now.

    December 6, 2009 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  24. JP

    Some estimates say we could save 100 billion a year with tort reform. Its quite clear that the greedy trial lawyers are more important than the taxpayers. Has anyone calculated how much more the bill will cost after the illegals are made ciizens.

    December 6, 2009 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  25. 60's survivor

    bipartisan is highly overated! Obama won the election with a healthy electorate and popular vote. WE wanted change in the healthcare system and WE voted for it. the republican candidate lost the election. PERIOD

    December 6, 2009 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
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