Archive for Friday, February 26, 2010

Obama, Democrats on their own after health care summit

February 26, 2010


President Barack Obama and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius discuss health care reform Thursday in Washington, D.C.

President Barack Obama and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius discuss health care reform Thursday in Washington, D.C.

— With Republicans apparently unmoved by a daylong face-off on live TV, President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress face the test of whether they can overhaul the nation’s health care system by themselves.

Obama conceded Thursday after seven hours of sometimes testy talks with Republicans that the two parties may be too far apart on the biggest health care issue: whether the federal government should pay for insurance for tens of millions of people who don’t now have coverage.

He urged Republicans one last time to consider any hope of agreement. Barring that, however, he signaled that Democrats will press ahead, perhaps using a controversial rule to get legislation through the Senate with a simple majority rather than the usual 60-vote supermajority that they can’t assemble without at least one Republican.

Even then, he and Democrats face significant challenges in mustering enough Democratic votes in the House of Representatives. Democrats suggested that they have a few more weeks to pass health care legislation before they take a spring recess and turn to other issues.

“I’d like the Republicans to do a little soul-searching and find out are there some things that you’d be willing to embrace that get to this core problem of 30 million people without health insurance,” Obama said at the conclusion of the daylong session at the Blair House, across from the White House.

With his quest for universal health care stalled in Congress, Obama had convened the extraordinary, televised session with top aides and 38 members of Congress from both parties. The president and his team made their case anew for a nearly $1 trillion, 10-year plan to expand health insurance to millions of the uninsured, improve coverage for those who do have insurance and control costs for everyone who pays insurance premiums.

Republicans countered with a scaled-down plan, arguing for a slower, step-by-step approach. “We believe that our views represent the views of a great number of the American people, who have tried to say in every way they know how — through town meetings, through surveys, through elections in Virginia and New Jersey and Massachusetts — that they oppose the health care bill that passed the Senate on Christmas Eve,” said Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.


just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 8 years, 3 months ago

Garrison Keillor summed it up pretty well in his column today--

"Our health-care system could be fixed by smart public-spirited people in a weekend, but in our current democracy it is very hard to budge the blockade, and things may need to get much worse and Republicans be boosted back into power and they can propose the very same legislation they are adamantly opposed to now and the system will change a little bit."

SettingTheRecordStraight 8 years, 3 months ago

Yes, let's forever alter 1/6th of our economy and erode our freedoms, responsibilities and incomes by giving "public-spirited people" a mere weekend to do as much damage as possible.

jumpin_catfish 8 years, 3 months ago

The insult of a true American hero, Sen. John McCain showed me what I always knew about that gang of demorats and why don't any of the demorats line up to have the same health care plan they are pushing on the rest of us. hmmmmmmmm

preebo 8 years, 3 months ago


Life, Liberty, and Justice for all...

jafs 8 years, 3 months ago


That claim is totally false.

The insurance "exchanges" that have been proposed are exactly the plan that Congress currnently has, and in fact are modeled on them.

Flap Doodle 8 years, 3 months ago

The Ghost of Mid-term Elections Yet to Come is rattling his chains.

jimmyjms 8 years, 3 months ago

barrypenders is either a 15yo trolling, or mentally retarded. Either way, not of much use.

"Miss me yet?" For what?

weeslicket 8 years, 3 months ago

agnostic: "A few of our leaders and elected officials took the time yesterday to plant a few seeds. Let's hope they found some fertile, common ground, and that they'll nurture these seeds into something that will bear fruit for the American people."

Roadkill_Rob 8 years, 3 months ago


I notice your avatar is from that ignorant billboard some cowards put up somewhere in the middle of nowhere. I wonder if they forgot about the war that W started with for oil, er, I mean weapons of mass destruction that didn't exist. You know, the one that's costing us billions of dollars every week. You guys don't seem to have a problem with that, yet, you get all crazy b/c some democrats want to make sure sick people get health insurance. Yeah, you guys are true American heroes.

"Miss me yet?" No, not now. Not ever.

Roadkill_Rob 8 years, 3 months ago

Yeah, I don't really care who put it up. It doesn't change the fact that they seem to forget that W started a war that's costing us billions and billions of dollars and they think it's "clever" to put up an ignorant sign.

Barry, you can direct me to any comments you want. But, like I said, it doesn't change the fact that W put us in a real fine mess that dilusional people like you tend to conveniently ignore.

"Miss me yet" No, not now. Not ever.

jimmyjms 8 years, 3 months ago

"In Dick Morris' humble opinion, he says 30 is probably too low of a number and Morris is not exactly a political dummy."

Hahaha. Tom thinks Dick Morris is political sage? WTF?

notajayhawk 8 years, 3 months ago

"Washington — With Republicans apparently unmoved by a daylong face-off on live TV"

And the Democrats moved how much, exactly?

Nope, no bias in the press, with that as the opening line. Reminds me of when Pelosi said she was going to keep sending the exact same bill on S-CHIP back to the president to sign, without any changes whatsoever, and HE was being the obstructionist.

Flap Doodle 8 years, 3 months ago

Did I hear something? Maybe it was just that screen door swinging in the wind.

notajayhawk 8 years, 3 months ago

whatthehell (anonymous) says...

"Going on two hours and no one want to touch my question....again. That's what I thought. Stick to your partisan "talking points" and don't bother looking around to see who is doing what, what works for them, how do they hold costs in check AND provide care for everyone? Nope."

How does the Democrats' proposed plan provide care for everyone while holding costs in check, exactly?

That's what I thought.

If you truly believe the Democrats' plan will do anything other than send the currently skyrocketing costs of healthcare into warp speed, you have absolutely no understanding of the nature of the problem.

As far as 'what works for them', there is no comparison; it's like saying people ride the train in Europe all the time so we should have more trains here. What works somewhere else is no guarantee it will work here. And the likelihood of getting similar results by converting an existing system to copy one that evolved that way are pretty slim.

notajayhawk 8 years, 3 months ago

Agnostick (anonymous) says...

"Granted, the above letter is not about the Democrat's plan. Interesting conclusion from CBO, though."

If that was in response to my post, I wasn't talking about the cost to the federal government, I was talking about healthcare costs.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 3 months ago

When one million more consumers tire of paying wayyyyyyy too much,having coverage canceled and having insurance companies tell the doctors what to do then maybe we'll all wake to recognize that Improved Medicare Insurance for All is the practical mode to travel.

So long as we remain quiet and afraid to change the high rollin insurance executives will continue to make billions upon billions while never ever having provided one second of health care. After all they need billions upon millions in order to provide their CEO's with a $73 million retirement bonus..... personally I think that sucks.

Yes IMPROVED Medicare Insurance would likely put the private medical insurance groups out of business and why not.

Health insurers have forced consumers to pay billions of dollars in medical bills that the insurers themselves should have paid, according to a report released yesterday by the staff of the Senate Commerce Committee. More on this story:

The insurance companies manage to get their staff people hired on as Senate Staffers:

And the greater majority pay more and more and more each year yet are receiving less however are not aware of it: How much is the sick U.S. health care system costing you?

Then there is always the problem of lawmakers receiving special interest campaign dollars coming from those billions upon billions in profit aka health care dollars or so we thought they were health care dollars.

Then we have our illustrious elected officials as shareholders in addition to receiving campaign money.

Does anyone truly expect change knowing this kind of crap?

Richard Heckler 8 years, 3 months ago

How to save thousands of dollars a year and make it pay back handsomely!

If millions of healthy insured dropped their policies not only would they save thousands of dollars the insurance industry would faint in disbelief that this many people actually are awake and give a damn.
Paying out of pocket will save thousands of dollars a year.

Set up a health care investment account or annuity that makes YOU money instead of wealthy CEO's. Your health care annuity will NOT cancel out on when the poop hits fan.

Sooner or later more will do the same. Suddenly all of america would realize the medical insurance business has been doing nothing but making tons and tons of profit by way of fear mongering.

At that point all would see that america could have insurance at a much much lower rate such as 225 a month for the best coverage in the world that includes an entire family of four. How? IMPROVED Medicare Insurance for All.

Now more money is available to invest smart instead of supporting high rollin executives and shareholders.

Maybe get on with that home improvement with cash instead of borrowing from the bank.....just maybe.

Maybe go to Jamaica for a few weeks instead of supporting high rollin executives and shareholders.

Most consumers are under-insured = candidate for bankruptcy. Most coverage WILL NOT stick with consumers when the going gets tough = fraud.

What could be done with that high profit middle man money that which DOES NOT provide health care?

  1. Home Improvements = jobs

  2. Invest in a green annuity

  3. Create a college investment account for children

  4. Purchase a fuel efficient auto = money saved and secures jobs in the automotive industry

  5. Buy gifts for a lover which improves ones quality of life and boosts a local economy

  6. Buy a second home in the Rocky Mountains = helps reduce number of homes for sale

  7. Keep an existing vehicle in top running condition = dollars saved and clean air

  8. Landscape a yard to reduce mowing substantially and requires far less water = conservation of natural resources and more money in the wallet

10.Donate to a local zoo or library.


  1. Improved Medicare Health Insurance for All is far better for America any option on the table.

jumpin_catfish 8 years, 3 months ago

Hear me again, obama disgraced the office of president by belittling Sen. McCain. I don't agree with a lot of what McCain has done over the years but his sacrifice and heroism is above reproach and has earned him the undying respect of all Americans. Rubbin' it in his face that he lost the election was cheap and beneath the office that obama temporarily holds. obama is qualified to hold McCain's coat let alone talk down to him.

jumpin_catfish 8 years, 3 months ago

Every vet should write obama and demand an apology immediately. I don't remember any president making me this angry ever. John McCain was scarred for life and suffers from his injuries everyday because of his honor, love of country and dedication to his fellow soldiers.

Roadkill_Rob 8 years, 3 months ago


So Obama should've just sat there while John McCain attacked his integrity?

You know, Obama deserves some respect too. But since you don't like him, it's okay to disrespect him, right?

beatrice 8 years, 3 months ago

Tom has resorted to quoting Sarah Palin now. Ouch.

jumpin-c, spare me the melodrama. McCain was grandstanding with his comments, and Obama called him on it. That is politics. It isn't like he questioned his patriotism the way so many on the right have done and continue to do with Obama. Besides, remember the pink band-aids at the 2004 Republican Convention? I don't think Republicans have much to whine about here when it comes to picking on decorated war heros.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 3 months ago

McCain through the Bush years did not support vets and/or the active military.

Among other things McCain hides behind his being a soldier...

McCain: The Most Reprehensible of the Keating Five. The story of "the Keating Five" has become a scandal rivaling Teapot Dome and Watergate ...

McCain loves pork barrels in spite of rhetoric... never known to turn it down

McCain might be kind of bogus.... Definitely has become a Bush republican neo conservative YUCKO!

Richard Heckler 8 years, 3 months ago

Obama had drawn criticism from progressive Democrats for refusing to include a government-funded public option in a proposal issued ahead of the summit.

Single-payer advocates were also excluded from the meeting.

job4mike6 8 years, 3 months ago


McCain was found to be a hero for his behavior after he was captured. For example, he was offered early release because he was the son of a 4-star Admiral. For him to accept this offer would have broken faith with his fellow prisoners--he did not. That sample of behavior is integrity at the point of contact despite the knowledge that he would suffer further pain and suffering at the hands of his captors. He endured huge amounts of pain and suffering while attempting to uphold his oath to defend the Constitution. What have you done to compare?

McCain's subsequent problems with political scandals and misguided views on certain issues diminish his overall record but he is clearly a hero for bearing pain during his military service to protect us and our form of Government. The text of his Silver Star citation:

THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY Washington D.C. 20350 The president of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the SILVER STAR MEDAL to COMMANDER JOHN S. MCCAIN III UNITED STATES NAVY


For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity while interned as Prisoner of War in North Vietnam from 27 October to 8 December 1967. His captors, completely ignoring international agreements, subjected him to extreme mental and physical cruelties in an attempt to obtain military information and false confessions for propaganda purposes. Through his resistance to those brutalities, he contributed significantly toward the eventual abandonment of harsh treatment by the North Vietnamese, which was attracting international attention. By his determination, courage, resourcefulness, and devotion to duty, he reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of Naval Service and the United States Armed Forces.

I understand if you don't care for Senator McCain, but is is a hero nonetheless.

Stephen Roberts 8 years, 3 months ago

I find this quite disturbing. The Republicans are supposed to compromise but the Democrats do not have to compromise?? If the Senate bill was so great, why did we have the Lousiana Purchase and the Cornhusker screw all the other states Additional Medicaid funding to get passed a fillabister??

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