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July 22nd, 2009
04:25 PM ET

A steep climb for Obama

David Gergen | Bio
AC360° Contributor
CNN Senior Political Analyst

Heading toward a showdown on his top domestic priority - and possibly the linchpin to his presidency - Barack Obama carries two handicaps into his prime time press conference tonight.

First, he does not yet have a fully formed health care plan to "sell" to the country. Ordinarily, a president trying to persuade the public on a contentious issue has a firm plan to present in prime time. But the nature of the process in health care has meant that five different Congressional committees are working on ideas - and two of the most influential have not even reported yet on their recommendations.

As a result, the President is left to rail against the status quo - and he does this with great persuasiveness - but he is unable to bring his much respected oratorical power to bear on convincing people exactly what to do to fix things.

Second, the President is taking to the airwaves at a time when he no longer seems to have as big a welcome mat as in the past. Not only are his high poll numbers slipping a bit but so are his audience numbers. For his first prime time press conference in February, some 49.5 million people - a whopping number - tuned in. For his second, in March, 40.4 million watched. And in his third, in April, the total dropped to 28.8 million. Observers will closely watch the returns tonight.

He may be testing the outer limits of media presence. Tonight will mark his fifth major prime time appearance in his first six months. Even FDR, a legendary communicator, had only three fireside chats in the same time frame. (George W. Bush held four prime time press conferences in his whole eight years).

Obama's lieutenants will tell you he has a history of rising to the occasion and that already he has advanced health care reform farther than any of his Democratic predecessors. They are right on both arguments. But they know as well this will be one of the steepest, most important climbs of his young presidency.

soundoff (159 Responses)
  1. ina cantrell

    I have had 20 years of private health care in the usa and 20 years of british public care and there is no comparison:

    PRIVATE HEALTH CARE IS IN BUSINESS FOR PROFIT
    PUBLIC HEALTH CARE IS IN BUSINESS FOR PATIENTS.

    Why can't we have what every politician has? Free healthcare paid for the tax payer..............does that sound like socialised medicine? And hypocrisy?

    July 22, 2009 at 6:36 pm |
  2. Gloria

    Obama's is doing GREAT, more than could normally be expected under these excruiating circumstances. People who hate on him are just ignorant of the big picture and the facts, and in denial.

    July 22, 2009 at 6:35 pm |
  3. james

    Gergen wears all kind of hats. The yankee the rebel and the french. Talk about a confused liberal!

    July 22, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  4. tjaman

    I know _I'm_ tuning in ... mostly to hear some details and some specifics.

    This president has had to address the progress of two wars, an economy in freefall, crumbling infrastructure, sell a stimulus package and try to talk America off a ledge on what to do about health care - which, incidentally, he has defined the parameters and directed Congress to do its job and legislate.

    FDR mostly had to talk to bankers and Congress to advance his agenda, addressing the public directly when he had something they could engage with. Bush just kept trying to sell tax cuts and war, which Americans can usually get behind.

    I think the president is in front of the cameras because that's where we _need_ him to be.

    July 22, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  5. Tony

    We Don"t WANT IT!

    July 22, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  6. Richard

    CNN needs to stop "cheerleading" for Obama and start looking very hard at the Health Care legislation. It is bloated and very poorly written. The costs and methods outlined to pay for them are vague at best. The Wall St. Journal called it the "worst piece of legislation ever written". This plan cannot be "rushed through" like the stimulas where the members (and the President) failed to read the entire Bill before voting. This is too important not to be prudent and thorough. CNN needs to ask the hard questions about this plan and honestly analyze the impact of this poorly thought out plan.

    July 22, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  7. sharon, sydney, ns

    I don’t think it’s such a bad thing that he’s had so many press conferences. It seems to me, he’s just trying to keep people informed. If they choose not to tune in, they choose not to learn, not to question, not to care. I get that he’s turned into some kind of “personality”, or as others put it, “celebrity” , but if that’s all people were tuning in to see, it’s kind of a shame. He’s a President of the Unitied States that is actually trying to make a difference in the lives of the people he serves. He is fighting for a person’s right to affordable health care. For that alone, I am going to tune in to watch it.

    July 22, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  8. April

    Why now does the country and Congress decide they don't want to pay for procedures such as abortions? Where was all the uproar when, for 8 years, tax payers were paying millions or billions of dollars for abstinence only programs and other religiously-biased programs? If only the country could stop arguing semantics and bantering over hypotheticals and just get to the reforming of health care already! This is why we still have a completely disorganized and dysfunctional health care system- because politicians can't seem to put their personal agendas on hold long enough to do their job.

    July 22, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  9. Saidapet Saidapet

    Mr. Gergen:

    Optimist and fighters raise to the occassion, while you are right that he does not have a concrete plan yet on his plate. But he does not have much option when there is so much dis-information out there (unfortunately even in the media) focussing only on the tussels rather than on the progress. E.g. CBO clearly said there will be cost cut for those who have health insurance, the hole is only how to cover the incoming 46mill people, but everywhere there is only discussion that costs will raise.

    But when this is all done and health care reform passes (hopefully, I am paying $3000 deductible), then the success he will taste, the accomplishments that he made will be immeasurable.

    July 22, 2009 at 6:28 pm |
  10. Priscilla Miller

    This Health care bill must not pass. This President has done nothing but put our country further in debt and made the world see his lack of pride in his own country Or is it his coountry???? He may speak eloquent (with his telepromters) but says nothing of truth or value. People please listen and you will see through.

    July 22, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  11. sharon, sydney, ns

    I don't think it's such a bad thing that he's had so many press conferences. It seems to me, he's just trying to keep people informed. If they choose not to tune in, they choose not to learn, not to question, not to care. I get that he's turned into some kind of "personality", or as others put it, "celebrity" , but if that's all people were turning in to see, it's kind of a shame. He's a President of the Unitied States that is actually trying to make a difference in the lives of the people he serves. He is fighting for a person's right to affordable health care. For that alone, I am going to tune it.

    July 22, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  12. Kurt

    I think the public may be a lot smarter than our politicians believe. We’ve figured out that the “public option” is a misleading phrase that really means “government plan”, and that the way the bill is written in the House we would see most employer plans abandoned due to the economic incentives to drop them in favor of sticking employees on the “public option” plan. The bottom line is that if government health care were such a great idea, no one would be trying to trick us with things like “public option” to hide the way they want to try to morph our system into a Canadian style single payer plan.

    July 22, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  13. Tim Neumann

    He is bordering on over-exposure. Too much; too fast; and too little thought being put into his initiatives.

    July 22, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  14. David Doney

    It would be great if the media actually helped in this matter. Do you really want to maintain the status quo? We know from the CBO data even before Obama entered office that Medicare/Medicaid costs would eventually consume all federal tax revenues, sometime before mid-century. So the status quo is not an acceptable answer.

    Honest reporting says that we are the only developed, reasonably well-off country without universal health insurance; that our healthcare costs twice what it does in these countries; and that overall our results are not as good. We will spare no expense to save someone with a rare case of cancer, which conservatives trumpet even though it is really a red herring compared to the 47 million people uninsured who get substandard preventive care and 60% of bankruptcies due primarily to medical bills.

    How about educating the American people about the best practices in other countries? You have to hunt around for this information, which is ridiculous. Unfounded rumors are all over the place that the media has not tried to dismiss. Like wait times are not an issue in many of these countries, and they have full access to their doctors.

    Finally, from a cost-control standpoint the media should help make it clear what is involved. There are three commonly-understood lynchpins to reducing costs:

    1) We must get to a single payer system. People can still pick their own doctors, we just have one payer instead of massive insurance company infrastructure. Paul Krugman estimates this would cover 30% of the gap with other countries. Other than performing an administrative function, it doesn't have to do anything else to save us all an enormous amount of money.
    2) We must implement tort reform, to prevent defensive medicine and crazy insurance premiums for doctors. Various sources say that covers about 10-15% of the gap with other countries.
    3) We must ration healthcare when the patient's living standard cannot be improved, such as for Alzheimers patients.
    4) We must charge the obese considerably more, as this is a huge driver of expensive conditions such as diabetes.

    So please stop the hand-wringing and make the case to our Congress about what they should be doing. We have 535 Representatives and Senators (with huge support staffs), many of whom have dealt with this issue for years and know exactly what is at stake and how to fix the problem, so the delay is politics not technical. What else is on their plate that is more important? The Fed is handling the financial crisis.

    Enough already...let's get the reform plan started so we can improve it. While were at it, let's take away the health insurance from our Congressmen so they get serious about this issue.

    July 22, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  15. Philip Vaidyan MD

    I'm so glad that we have a leader who's willing to work hard everyday to move this country forward in every way he can. He's fulfilling his campaign promise by doing just that. It is very fortunate to have a leader like President Obama who's so engaged and is willing to tackle the tough issues of this country and the globe.

    July 22, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  16. Paresh Thanawala

    Although Presdient's intents are good and he is a god public speaker, it seems he tries to do too much in too short a time and is loosing focus on key issues. Health care is an important isssue and a well thought out plan is necessary before rushing to push a bill. He should lay back on this bill and focus more on improving the economy – while various options and cost befits are being carefully evaluated on the health care issue.

    Paresh Thanawala
    Calgary, Canada
    (tel: (403) 255-3171
    perry58@telus.net

    July 22, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  17. GodsCountry

    Healthcare cost is just that; a cost. The service costs something to provide and consumers cover the cost (including margins) to receive the service.
    BHO cannot make those cost's go down.
    Someone will pay for "affordable" health care, so if it is universally available just exactly who IS that payer going to be?
    Today I heard some BHO operative say something like "those of you who make more money can afford to pay more for healthcare." meaning that's the way some of the cost will be lifted from some of the people.
    Wealth redistribution, period.
    This will not completely cover the new, "lower" cost, either. To make healthcare universally "affordable" will mean not just wealth redistribution, but oppressive taxation.
    That, plus the humongous burden on our pocketbooks from legislation already passed by the BHO crew and we are in a steaming pile of socialist doo-doo.
    Thank God 2010 is so near.
    Mid-term elections, God bless them!

    July 22, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  18. Dave in Illinois

    You hit the nail on the head; President Obama, the "talking head". He doesn't have a plan, only a vision, and he has shown no leadership in getting the Congress to develop a workable plan. He appears to be not much more than a television news anchor reading speeches instead of new stories from his teleprompter.

    July 22, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  19. Dee

    if you had asked me even six months ago if america could ever become a socialist country i would have vehemently said "NO" and yet here we are.
    i came to america as a teenager from a quite socialist uk (at the time) and have always espoused the virtue of our great political system here and the safety of checks and balances. we the people MUST stand up and shake our representatives from their "cool aid" drunk and get back to the business of the united states of america and our great constitution. obama is just a man who currently has the privilege to serve as president of our great country...by many definitions in other country we would call him a dictator and a demagog. if we the people do not speak soon our great country will be gone.

    July 22, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  20. Broderick Kennedy

    I had a brain tumor last year. Under this president's plan. I wouldn't be here today. Thank God for Duke University and the trials that wouldn't be approved under this plan. A friend of mine from Canada his no longer here because under Canada's health plan he couldn't get in to see someone in time.

    July 22, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  21. William Scott

    I'm struck by the fact that this being Obama's 5th prime time press conference it eclipses by one the number of PT press conferences Bush gave in eight years. At the least, Obama believes in his stuff and is willing to communicate them to the public. Not for nothing, but not a bad change.

    July 22, 2009 at 6:10 pm |
  22. Mfurey

    There is a lot of momentum building with misinformation and scare tactics by the Health Insurance lobby and their GOP supporters to defeat this effort at reform and lowering costs – it is now critical that supporters of reform call their congressional reps, educate their friends & family, and respond to the the misdirection being posted on various news sites.

    As expected, the GOP and lobby groups are trying to play to people's worst fears while conveniently side stepping the true costs of doing nothing to fix our system – the President and his congressional allies need all the help we can muster in these next few urgently important weeks! Under Bush we got tax cuts, but our health insurance premiums skyrocketed, in effect negating any savings – and this trend will only continue if we don't introduce some competition into the system to break up the health insurance company monopolies. No one is talking about removing the health care options one already has if they are happy with them – but the lobbyists want you to think it will be some horrible government socialistic enterprise. They are so scared at losing their massive profits they'll say anything at this point to scare the uninformed.

    Think about how the GOP is playing this, based on their comments hoping/praying that a defeat here for Obama will be his "Waterloo" – this is not a party concerned about helping common Americans with reversing their inflated health costs or insuring the milions without insurance – no, this is purely a political play on their part hoping that witha defeat here they can regain power. America first? Who buys that line anymore from the party of rich white people, corporations and the willfully ignorant...

    July 22, 2009 at 6:08 pm |
  23. david

    A War on the Elderly
    The euphimisms "eliminating waste and fraud in Medicare and Medicaid" and "reallocation of health care funds" mean only one thing
    CUTS in Medicare benefits and restrictions on Medicaid payments for long term care.

    The elderly will pay the price for universal health insurance!!
    Revenue neutral means someone has to pay and in this case its the over 65 people.
    You can take your health care reform and shove....

    July 22, 2009 at 6:07 pm |
  24. Joanne Osinkowski Ontario Canada

    AMERICA! Please do not rush to judgement and do not underestimate your President...:)

    July 22, 2009 at 6:01 pm |
  25. david

    Help me out.
    TWO THIRDS of the savings to be used to pay for Health Care Reform are to come from eliminating waste & fraud in Medicare and Medicaid

    If Medicare& Medicaid are losing $65 billion a year, why do we need a law to operate the programs more efficiently? Can't Obama just start to do this without Congress?

    July 22, 2009 at 6:01 pm |
  26. Charles

    I get sick and tired of hearing about private insurers cannot compete against the government. I say take a look at Federal Express and UPS. Both of them are outperforming the U.S. Post Office. Both Fed-X and UPS charge more than the Post Office, yet both Fed-X and UPS are making a profit and providing their employees with good insurance. Fed-X and UPS are demonstrating smart business practices; whereas, private medical insurers are only interested in continuing to commit highway robbery

    July 22, 2009 at 5:53 pm |
  27. Monica Montany

    Consider it an Emergency!

    In 2002, congress scrambled to put together the Patriot Act after nearly 4,000 Americans died in a terrorist attack.

    In 2009, congress should be scrambling to put together Health Care Reform after nearly 20,000 Americans die per year because they don't have insurance and can't afford the inflated health care prices.

    Something everyone can agree on: something must be done! If you do nothing, nothing will happen; if you do something, something will happen.

    July 22, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  28. Kathy from Maryland

    Senator Graham's comments to Wolf today at least give us some hope. While the bill he is sponsoring does not include govt sponsored health care, he appears eager to see change! This is a good thing!!! Looking forward to the press conference!

    July 22, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  29. Kare

    I am disgusted with the way America is being told that the Canadian Health care system is so horrible! We have an amazing health care system and the way the American media is portraying it is no where near the truth.

    We have free care.. what is wrong with that? If my son gets hurt while playing at school I don't have to worry about taking him to the hospital, emergency is open 24/7 at no cost! And unlike they portray it on the US news we do not have forever to wait before we see someone. I have gone to emergency and been in within the hour.. other times with less severe illness it has taken up to 4 hours tops!

    I have a fantastic family doctor that we all see for free (all 4 of us in my family)... and yes we picked our own doctor! I can see specialist for free as well! Anytime I go the specialist I complain about my $10.00 parking bill for the day.. that is my only expense!

    I am terrified to travel to the united states because your ideas are so clouded... and I am terrified if I do go there and get sick I will lose my home because of medical bills. I do feel bad for the canadian women (from Ontario I believe, with a brain tumor) that is on the comercials lately there in USA and that her doctor did not take care of her.. but that is rare.. definitly not the norm here in Canada!

    I have had 2 C-sections one of which was an emergency and my son was in special care unit for 5 days. Both my boys have asthma and have been hospitialized for that as well! I have had emergency gall bladder removal and many other normal illnesses over the years.. wana know what my bill cost for all that treatment......... NOTHING $00.00!!!!!!!!!!

    So why does the Canadian health care sysem look so bad?

    July 22, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  30. vince

    He comes to the podium with what we alreay know. His plan will kill health insurance. Nothing will changes that.

    Personally, im tired of seeing him on tv.

    July 22, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  31. Ellen Millers

    Let's get this right, he is trying to sell us on a bill that is not written or debated. We are expected go along blindly. He has spent all his capital. I cannot and will not give my support until we have time to read and analyze all the implications healthcare reform will have. Is that too much to ask for?????

    July 22, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  32. ANGRY AMERICAN

    I hope someone is listening! Why is the American public allowing this President (who should have been a TV start with the amount of time he likes to spend in front of the camera rather than doing his job) to both create irrevocable harm with huge debt levels for future generations as well as target the working/educated population of this country as his meal ticket. Has everyone lost sight that this leader (I use that term lightly) has never been involved in creating any legislation and now he is pressuring the country to pass tremendous reform with little more than a few weeks time to review it. IT IS MANIC BEHAVIOR. He is only pursuing such a strategy because the Dems control both t he House and Senate, but to date everything he has pursued has failed. A leader is not someone who just spends money on many types of ideas (TARP, TALF, PIIP) hoping something sticks so he can say his is right, a leader is someone who is decisive. WE all have serious issues in this country and it is not the time to now talk about Health Care; where are the jobs he promised? Where is the "green economy"? All he has done, due to his naivety, is put this country in unimaginable debt, make us beholden to China that we actually entertain conversations of a "Global Currency", and has made us the laughing stock of N. Korea. I beg America, create balance in the House and Senate in the next election so true, thoughtful legislation may be passed. Stop this President's Manic behavior (as well as his comrade in arms Pelosi) and/or just refuse to pay taxes. If we, the target masses of Mr. Obama for his funding needs, stand together and stop paying taxes and/or form a "working America rights group" maybe he will understand that he is destroying this country. You have all worked hard for what you have, why are you letting a socialist take it from you? Change is needed, he was not it! Restore balance to the political system, one party should not govern with an iron fist.

    July 22, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  33. Malcom Z

    It's a steep climb for Obama because it's the THIRD piece of legislation he has neither written nor read. It's hard to sell something to people when the people are on to the fact the president doesn't know what he's selling. It's a fact that has been brought to light each time he's been questioned on specifics. Obama is quickly losing the trust of the people as a result. Every poll is showing that. Once the confidence is lost, he may not recover and it's only 6 months in to his presidency.

    July 22, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  34. Tim

    Government Health Insurance Program is no bargain.

    The health insurance program is said to cost over $1,000,000,000,000. I figured if there are 300,000,000 Americans and 10% is un-insured or about 30,000,000 Americans. It is said the congressional health program would include only 70% of the uninsured American. So the congressional program would only include 21,000,000 additional Americans. The math shows it would cost $47,616 per person to insure just another 21,000,000 Americans.

    Sams Club has a health insurance policy they sell $350 a month with a $1,000 deductable and $30 co-pay. This would cost $4,200 in premiums and $1,000 in deductibles a year for a total cost of $5,200 per person. Insuring 21,000,000 Americans at $5200 a year would total $109,200,000,000 a year. The co-pays can be pay upon need.

    A program costing $1 Trillion compared to $109 Billion performing the same thing is no bargain.

    Actually the Sam Club insurance may be better than what the government is offering for about a 90% cheaper cost.

    July 22, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  35. Phil G

    All Obama, all the time. He is going to die of overexposure.

    There is A LOT MORE WRONG with American Medical Care than just lack of access. An arguement could be made that there is too much defensive medicine and too much intrusion into the practice of medicine by people/organizations who are not trained in health care; and these issues are not being addressed in this attempt to push a bill–any bill through congress.

    If you have a boat that leaks water, you don't fix the leak by making the boat bigger.

    Maybe these questions should be answered FIRST: what type of care do we want; what type of treatment programs should be offered for each disease/complaint; how many different kinds of medicines do we really need to have; and how much imaging is really needed to answer each question, and how often would something cheaper/less invasive than surgery provide the same outcome???

    July 22, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  36. Joseph Henderson

    It's amazing David Gergen can fill up a whole article on health care just talking about Obama, with no comment on the issues. Not one word about the cost, not one word about how most people are satisfied with their insurance and don't want a public option, not one word about how this is just a cynical ploy to socialize the health industry and has nothing to do with trying to expand health coverage for those who need it. A health care plan that can't get bipartisan support, and can't get 70-80 votes in the Senate, is just more politics and special interests as usual.
    But of course the MSM frames it like Gergen does, its all about Obama and how it affects him, let's ignore the public and their pocketbooks.

    July 22, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  37. Johnny Henry

    I believe that President Barack Obama is doing a great and wonderful job with healthcare and other meaningful issues that we face today , not only as americans but the whole world included. Healthcare is the most underlying issue out of all the problems that we face today along with "racism, sexism, homophobism and many more "isms" that control our lives. I do believe that healthcare and education are directly tied together, both are synonymous with normalcy as well as economic progress. The most wonderful thing about this black man's ascension to the presidency of the united stated is that it reveals the "cancer of hidden racism." We as americans are all in need of counseling and most for the simple fact that a "black man is in charge," and giving orders, not only to white men but to men of different nationalities around the globe. Diversity in our thinking, living, healthcare and education will be a beacon to our problems and woes, giving us light to follow the path to recovery. Do not remain in denial of this, possibly the greatest president we will ever have due to the fact he is going to solve the myriad of problems no other president of any nation has had to face. Racism and all the other "isms," have no place in the world.

    July 22, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  38. paulernestshow

    Let it be more steeper than it is now. We need to keep on climbing. This is an opportunity to save lives. Healthcare is an essential element of living. Without it we all rotten and die. President Obama should continue on this climb. Living should not be reserved for those who can financially afford care. Every life is worth saving

    July 22, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  39. JC- Los Angeles

    As an Independent who voted for Barack Obama due to the alternatives, it's becoming increasing clear that the only thing he can sell is himself.

    Barack Obama is a great campaigner, however, his track record suggests he moves from one pursuit to another before any tangible accomplishments can be reached or an objective can fail.

    He's clever in the sense that he never has to judged by success or failure which is why he keeps moving.

    That's smart, if not completely understandable, when trying to climb the political ladder but harrowing to think of when one reaches the top step.

    July 22, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  40. RLWellman

    The Stimulis Bill still has passages that aren't finished yet. This way the Government can change and add to it as they see fit, after it is signed. This is the same with the Health Care Reform Bill. They want it signed, then they will add all the garbage to it.

    They aren't really smart, but they have fooled a lot of people for some time. However, people are starting to wise up. Citizens are reading and thinking about all this money and asking where is it going to come from.

    The old saying: You can fool some of us all the time.
    You can fool all of us some of the time.
    But, you can't fool all of us all the time!

    July 22, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  41. Timstigator

    David Gergen surprises me in his degree of O-worship. I've always thought of Gergen as one of the smartest analysts out there. "He has a history of rising to the occasion?" When? Please, David, stop your slobbering. It's unsightly.

    July 22, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  42. TexasTruBlu

    Could it be that the independents who voted him in on a wave of inclusion and good feelings are suddenly waking up from the Koolaid hangover? This is the second time that Obama has had Pelosi try to push through a massive bill before it is even completely written. When you deliver a bill three hours before the roll call and then railroad the opposition, at some point those of us in the "flyover" states are going to take notice.

    We aren't stupid. This isn't a healthcare bill any more than the stimulus bills was meant to rally the economy. It is a bill with inherent mechanisms to force ideas, procedures and attitudes toward life and death upon the American public. We don't know how far the Leftists are willing to take this, but there is genunine concern that the welfare of seniors is being sacrificed to put community indoctrination in place. So that means forcing Catholic hospitals to accept things like birth control and abortion. Or forcing all communities to accept assisted suicide. Or counseling/arm twisting seniors into "end of life" issues that might lead them to self-ration care and sign DNR's under duress. It's not a pretty picture. Plus their is the truly damning example of Congress opting out and letting their pet voters in unions opt out as well. You could tax millionaires at 100% and not pay a quarter of what this it going to cost us in payroll taxes, lost medical personnel and JOBS. At 9.5% unemployment and rising, nobody can afford that.

    July 22, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  43. GOPin2010

    What can you say, it's amateur hour with this administration. They have no clue how things work in Washington. They think they simply need to round up the members of the local senior center and ask them if they prefer a new coat of blue paint or green. Decision like these are made in a 15 minute meeting. Running a country is a different story, yet he treats it like some 2 bit volunteer organization. Debate is part of Washington, getting it right matters! Our economy and perhaps our very existence as leaders in the world rests on his shoulders and he has no idea how to respond other than to tax people (not just the "rich" people folks – everyone) and spend money. He is losing ground with independent and democrats because they now see through his meaningless babble. Thank goodness – critical thinking hasn't given way to the mental disorder of liberalism!

    July 22, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  44. BNS

    What I do not want to hear tonight is another "Cry Wolf – The Sky is Falling" diatribe by this president, who doesn't even know what the final plan is going to look like in the end.

    We have to fix healthcare - we have to fix it now - But don't worry about HOW we're going to fix it - just let us do something/anything...

    Don't pay attention to the man behind the curtain, Dorothy.

    July 22, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  45. Mike Robinson

    I think we've all learned that congress and the president are lying to us. Why watch? At least the used car salesman has to show you the car, Obama wants you to buy something they've yet to define clearly enough to justify support.

    July 22, 2009 at 3:50 pm |
  46. Josey Wales

    His steepest hurdles will be (as always) his incompetence on the issues and his propensity to lie.

    July 22, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  47. Griddle Jim

    Great.

    Another speech!

    I can't wait to find out what the teleprompter has to say about all this.

    July 22, 2009 at 3:48 pm |
  48. Jeannette Kucan

    I feel Obama is rushing to get this health care reform passed. We don't need another Trillion Dollar Bill. I think he would be better off helping California with their massive debt. We the American People can do without a new health care system. I don't think Obama is helping the American People as he promised. Everytime he wants something done,it's costing the American People way to much money.
    Obama please don't do us any more favors!!!

    July 22, 2009 at 3:46 pm |
  49. Peter

    The President is long on rhetoric and short on achievement. On health care the numbers don't add up and the hurry to get a bill raises questions in the minds of all but his most ardent supporters who care as little about the details as he seems to.

    July 22, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  50. Cindy

    Obama is spreading himself too thin. He needs to deal with one problem at a time. Right now we need a healthy economy more than we need health care reform. With out jobs everyone will be in line for money, food and everything else under the sun.

    As to the health care reform...he has no clue what he is doing. That's the real reason he has no plan. He just wants to push this through no matter what so he can say he did it while no one else could. It's all about his rating, legacy and ego to him. People are finally realizing that he is an empty suit making fake promises that he can't back up.

    Cindy..Ga.

    July 22, 2009 at 3:19 pm |
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