September 9th, 2009
08:02 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Pres. Obama's Health Care Pitch

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/09/09/obama.speech/art.obama.speech.pool.jpg caption= "President Obama told a joint session of Congress that the "time for bickering" over health care is over."]

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

Right now, Pres. Obama is pressing his case for health care reform to a joint session of Congress and to you at home. While he's not the first President to call for change he said he's "determined to be the last."

Tonight, he's unveiling the most detailed description of his vision for health care reform. Will it be a bipartisan deal or a go-it-alone plan? Public option or cooperative? Will Medicare take a hit? Pres. Obama is addressing all of these issues in his speech. We'll have the highlights for you tonight on AC360°. Just the facts. No fiction.

Anderson is also reporting live from Afghanistan. Tonight he has an up close look at Patrol Base Jaker. It's home for the Marines of First Battalion 5th regiment. Temperatures can reach 120° F and there's no escape from the heat. There's dust everyone. The Marines call it moondust. It gets everywhere.

Also tonight, 360 M.D. Sanjay Gupta reports on an elite medical team racing the clock to save lives in Afghanistan. And, Michael Ware returns to Kandahar, the birthplace of the Taliban. Michael once lived in the Afghan city. He shows us how life has changed there and how it's still the same in some ways.

In other news, a replacement has been name for Paula Abdul on American Idol. We'll have that for you and more starting at 10pm ET. See you then!

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
soundoff (93 Responses)
  1. Melissa

    Put it this way. Respect the office, not the man. And Obama was acting as his position dictates. He was acting as President. It was not a private interview, and he was not out in public, he was with Congress.

    You do NOT behave so badly toward a President when you are a member of Congress and he is giving a Congressional speech.

    Every society has codes of behavior, and this was wrong. I think Wilson just stabbed himself in the foot.

    Why are Republicans always so angry, closed minded, uneducated, and desperate to bully everyone around them? You'd think they'd grow out of this crap.

    September 10, 2009 at 9:22 am |
  2. Lea

    John, you are a Marine. You have health insurance. Perhaps you did not understand the Public Option. It is ONLY for those who do not currently have insurance through their employer or individually and simply cannot afford to purchase it even through the proposed insurance exchange. Why would the President offer to have himself and his White House staff move to the Public Option. He's not asking you to. Its ONLY for those who have no other option. Certainly there are details to be ironed out but at least it would provide a little something basic for so many families with young children, elderly parents and devastating illnesses.

    September 10, 2009 at 8:59 am |
  3. Tina

    I think that Pres. Obama's staff put him in the difficult position of having to defend the health care reform bill that should have first been given an extensive nationwide information campaign via press conferences, media interviews, press releases, etc., before sending it through the town hall route that caused a lot of confusion and negative reactions. Trying to correct and clarify the misconceptions and misinterpretations about the bill from a defensive position caused the president to have to deal with a lot of unpleasantness that could have been avoided if the information campaign and explanations had only gone first.

    September 10, 2009 at 7:54 am |
  4. georgy gamberucci (milan)

    that ugly comment came from another politician who lost a chance to shut up, nevertheless he makes the typical exception, that proves the rule but he is just one of those street protest supporter who forgot to wash his mouth.

    September 10, 2009 at 7:14 am |
  5. Alex

    No one called President Bush a (LIAR) when he was lying through his teeth about WMD in Iraq. Its a sad day for America when an American President is called a liar in the middle of the speech.

    "Very Sad Day"


    September 10, 2009 at 5:22 am |
  6. Keith

    I see a lot of Bush lied, we need a change. Have any of you ever read the bills that are being pushed by Obama? I have read every word, and so should you. Most people would change their minds about this. There is no mention of where the money is going to come from, there is no tort reform, and there is coverage for illegals. Democrats seem to have a hard time with criticism of their president but blindly followed party outrage at Bush era policies. All the Democrats had access to and voted for Bush policies. Everyone in this country needs to wake up, this is a bad bill.

    September 10, 2009 at 5:21 am |
  7. Everett

    To me, hearing the president say that it will be illegal to deny anyone health coverage due to a pre-existing condition is enough for the whole country to rally behind him. It says volumes about our human right, respect, the insurance corruption, and most of all it shows the kind of character that our American president has and should have.

    September 10, 2009 at 4:34 am |
  8. Dino Dog, Palm Springs, Florida

    I would expect nothing less than a superb speech from our President and slurs from some of the Republicans. That is exactly what has been happening since the election. This event was aired throughout the world folks! The President displayed amazing composure following the disgusting outburst. I guess the hate-mongers have gotten away with their disgusting behavior for so long that they think that Americans want the world to believe that we are a country comprised of idiots.
    My only suggestion is that the President make a completely separate broadcast. During the broadcast he should call out the individuals in Congress that have lied to the American public. Give out their names and the rhetoric that they spouted and follow their comments by a fact versus fiction account.

    My own quote:
    "The Senate has been bought and paid for. Paid for by the vote of the American public and the Senators' votes have been bought by corporate America."

    To quote Theodore Roosevelt:

    "When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer Present or Not guilty."

    September 10, 2009 at 3:48 am |
  9. Skip From Everett MA

    I personally don't have health care and am going to be fined by the IRS because I can't afford it here in Massachusetts. I will be getting it , but have to wait six months before I can get it. I do have one question though, if you pass a gov't run health plan that can be non-profit and provide the same coverage of care( I personally think Quality would become suspect) that would put Health Insurance companies out of business, what happens to the thousands of tax payers(income stream for your gov't option) that work for those comapnies? They would suddenly become thousands more unemployed and those of us who pay taxes would be forced to pay more, right? So how is this option anything but disasterous for our nation?

    September 10, 2009 at 2:48 am |
  10. Califorina-- Josh

    President Obama speech was great. Its one of the best speechs he has made. Obama's speech was really stonge, and really put more detail into what Obama's health care plan really is going to do for the American people. Obama should not get any opposition for helping the American people. People like Joe Wilson shouldn't be in congress, Never in the history of the United States has there ever been such a rude congressman.

    The American people should agree to the health care plan. Other counties have a government run health care. I don't need to mention Canada as we all know they have it. We are America, the most powerful country in the world. Why can't we get this right?

    September 10, 2009 at 2:13 am |
  11. Imsadd

    Chrystal, I sure hope you don't need HEART Surgery soon, the republician rebuttal was by one , a MD, who is highly respected, his rebuttal was amazing and (being married to a MD) touched home, I Am a proud American who knows Obama dosen't care how this is paid for ,its all about his winning, while you can bet your taxes will rise!

    September 10, 2009 at 1:48 am |
  12. ann

    Joe Wilson acted as if the person speaking to the united states, and the world watching was just nobody. It showed that he don't belong in the position he is in. If it was a white president, that would not have happened. No respect for the president, none for his constituants that he is suppose to be representing. well sometimes we send dummies to Washington to represent our state.

    September 10, 2009 at 1:46 am |
  13. ann

    Well done Mr. President!!!
    We need a fighter like you for those who has lost their insurance coverage, or can't afford to get any. It dosen't matter what you come up with the gop will still be the party of no.
    No to compermising, no to remembering that they are suppose to represent the people not the big companies.

    September 10, 2009 at 1:31 am |
  14. Patricia West

    When are we going to hear a public apology from the inconsiderate politician who called the President of the US a liar during his speech? How can we teach our youth respect when a US politician can't exercise control! Shame on him.

    September 10, 2009 at 1:30 am |
  15. Sharon Almond,Warrenton, Mo.

    I was happy with President Obamas speech, very thorough, very professional, very informative. I was not, however happy with the republican display of imaturity. At this moment,relatives of mine are going to Washington to protest and I am ashamed of them and appalled at the total disrespect they are showing to our President. I worked for the Obama campaign and am proud of it and will support him in every way. Finally, someone who really cares and is not afraid to go with it!

    September 10, 2009 at 1:27 am |
  16. James L. Patterson

    I think the President spelled out his plan very clearly. Both Democrats and Republicans should work together in a bi-partisan effort rather than the later spewing false claims in an effort to kill reform. We the citizens should not accept this type of behavior from any of our representatives. We, “the people”, should always be at the forefront of decisions that are being made on our behalf. Also, the outburst was very childish and disrespectful to the President of the United States.

    September 10, 2009 at 1:24 am |
  17. Jimmy

    Do republicans even care about people that don't have insurance? Its all about how much the drug companies and doctors can make! This is a sad world we live in today. Someone that is successful and fortunate can't help people that don't have much! Republicans are suppost to be more "christian"?? Right.

    September 10, 2009 at 1:23 am |
  18. darnell

    I am for the public option, I am for the health care plan.

    Those who do not wan to participate so be it do not, but do not deny those they have no option.

    Finally those who have health care should walk in the shoes, including Members of Congress for 5 years at or below the poverty level, limited health care or none, hospitals are your clinic, then you have a right to talk.

    September 10, 2009 at 1:23 am |
  19. Sue

    I only saw part of Obama's speech Due to my job, I WORK, and pay taxes, and have my own health care. If we go with a socialized health care system our elder population will die off. And how many people will the government have to hire to do all the work that the new health care system needs to run properly???????And who will pay them, will we???? I say look for a way to stop the waste in Medicare and Medicaid. Make those that are on Medicaid who can work, get a job.
    Parts of Obama's speech sounded more like a threat that his health care will pass.

    September 10, 2009 at 1:21 am |
  20. victory, santa fe

    I wanted to remind Joe Wilson that he could use his own
    excellent health care plan to get a prescription refill on
    the disorder he suffers from!
    Obama was amazing, and is truly a great leader for our country!

    September 10, 2009 at 1:14 am |
  21. gwen

    Who can deny that our healthcare system is broken – its a money pit – I agree w/ the president -the time to act is now – we cant kick this can on down the road again – talk about spending our childrens inheritance?!Its a terrible drain on our economy and our society –

    September 10, 2009 at 1:08 am |
  22. martha

    Nurse for 40 years, see totally unreasonable healthcare costs every day. Husband hospitalized and received insulin injections twice a day. The charge for each injection in the hospital was 250+ when an entire vial of insulin would not cost that much, and one vial will provide the same injections for a month(60 injections).

    I felt the Republican reaction tonight was total disrespect for the president and I do not think any of those who were protesting the president during his speech should be elected again. We have to teach our children to show respect for their teachers even though they disagree with the teacher's words/acquisitions. What type of message did we sent to those children tonight as far as respect for authority figures. I am a republican and I was so embarrased for the party tonight. Go President Obama.

    September 10, 2009 at 12:55 am |
  23. Josh Kearl

    Hey AC,

    I absolutly love watching you every moment that I get when I'm not working a full-time job, part-time job, and going to school full-time. I appreciate the way you give everything straight up with no bull. They last session that I watched of yours was when your cleared up the Healthcare myths, and I appreciated it. I am earnestly trying to afford healthcare for myself after I get my wife's healthcare paid for. But to no avail, even when working all day and all night. Thanks for helping to clarify misunderstandings and keep up the great work.

    Josh – Layton, Utah

    September 10, 2009 at 12:41 am |
  24. Barbara

    Great speach. He hit the high points well. But the financial is still clouded. More efficent medical care-Lucky for me my doctor did not care about efficientcy! He tested for everything he suspected, perscribed what I needed. Made sure I had appointments offten. In my darkest hours he cared enough to help me to care. He valued my life and that helped me value it even though multiple ailments had taken a serious drain on me. I am alive and active now only because he cared more for my well being than what policy makers considered excessive care. Thank God.

    September 10, 2009 at 12:18 am |
  25. Sergio

    It was a speech that clear my answers and I support the health care plan. I fully disaprove on congress R-Wilson on the way he shouted out .

    September 10, 2009 at 12:16 am |
  26. Nick -IL

    I’m a middle class average Joe who experienced fist hand many of the problems the president noted with establishing individual private health insurance. I applaud his devotion to tackling such a difficult topic; especially during these times of trial that we, Americans as a whole, are facing. What I read “between the lines” of his speech is that he understands there is no magical cure for this reform, but that doesn’t change the fact that reform is needed. I too, am tired of watching scare tactic comercials. Instead, my pipe dream would be to see “informercial” type segments that outline to us, the public, proposals suggested from all sides. I would like to see how all sides are proposing concrete, realistic solutions to this difficult but unavoidable issue.

    September 9, 2009 at 11:48 pm |
  27. Carmen

    Love it, love it, love it, love it.

    We finally have a president who is speaking for the American people.

    I have been laid off 3 times and could not afford Cobra. My father has been self employed for over 50 years and because my mom works they have insurance. My mother and father should be retiring and cannot because of healthcare. This bill will help the unemployed, self employed and all those like me who already have somewhat of a health plan.

    The Republicans for the past 12 years had control of the government and yet there was no healthcare plan so now I understand they are being paid by the lobbyist it all makes sense.

    September 9, 2009 at 11:44 pm |
  28. Sam

    Pass the bill! Who can disagree with it? It is better for all Americans. If it doesn't work you can be sure the next President will be a Republican and she will revoke it! Only 3 years of bad healthcare. If Republicans think the bill is that bad then passing it is the surest way to take back the White House. In fact, they don't even have to vote. They can sit back and blame the Democrats for causing their own demise.

    September 9, 2009 at 11:40 pm |
  29. biljana

    It is interesting to see that some people cannot live with the fact that we entered the age of reason, when President Obama was elected. They will do anything to make his position even more difficult, like he did not inherited enough hardship from Bush, already.
    People like that disrespectfull politician and many media promoters should make one wake up trip to Europe or any country overseas just for the reason of learning how Americans are popular and how Americans were once popular, just several months ago. It is not OK to play by own rules and not respect anybody else. Also, it is not OK not to respect and support own President, who was elected in one democratic election. That is NOT patriotic at all, and not American, also.
    For myself, I can tell that I am very proud to be an American today, especially supporting President Obama and his way of leading our society.

    September 9, 2009 at 11:35 pm |
  30. Bridget

    To John from Arizona: The President and Congress have a public option; that's actually the whole point! If government run health care is good enough for them, and for you as a Marine, it is good enough for the American people.

    September 9, 2009 at 11:29 pm |
  31. Emily vander Pauwert

    I am ashamed of the disrespect shown our President tonight. I too am a white middle class woman and I do believe race plays a role in the way Republicans react to President Obama.

    I was not only ashamed of Rep. Joe Wilson's outburst but also of Rep. Eric Cantor's playing with his Blackberry and keeping his head down during the speech. I guess this was his mature, educated way of saying he doesn't support the President.

    I hope both Rep's constituents are as appalled and vote these two out of office!

    To Rep.'s Wilson and Cantor–You do not have to like or respect the man, you do have to respect the office; you are respresenting thousands of people and the world is watching. We are the United States if America, if you cannot be "United" then you are in the wrong job!

    September 9, 2009 at 11:23 pm |
  32. Larryboy

    Wooo! Joe Wilson rocks! Giving it to the President! Yeah baby!

    September 9, 2009 at 11:18 pm |
  33. Andrew Harris

    Lampe – it was GWB who said "you are with me or you are against me" You should really get your facts straight as well.

    September 9, 2009 at 11:07 pm |
  34. Derrick

    As a Retired Officer who has served this country for over 20 years the actions towards the President was unprofessional. I really expect more from our leadership.

    September 9, 2009 at 11:02 pm |
  35. Peggy

    I thought it was an excellent speech. He went step by step on the issues involved with reason, clarity, and passion. I was certainly glad he pointed out the far-right lies that have been floating around. People need to know the truth. Hopefully his speech will lead to some by-partisan approach and closure on the Health Care Reform bill. By the way, why wasn't that rude, disrespectful representative from S.C. thrown out?! He is an embarrassment to every American citizens.

    September 9, 2009 at 10:40 pm |
  36. Vilma Ramos

    I agree with the President, he explained it clearly and simply, so i say lets give it a try. In my case I cannot get a good health insurance with the right premium or coverage so this would help me greatly.

    September 9, 2009 at 10:38 pm |
  37. Mildred

    I m really disgusted with the republicans open disrespect for our President how can they keep getting away this... why didn't the camara show his face ..so he would have to be acountable to his consituents... no one in MY American should be given the previgle to represent MY VOICE TO DISRESPECT THE PRESIDENT.... UNBelieveable this 2009...

    September 9, 2009 at 10:35 pm |
  38. Dan Stewart

    Once again we see the ugly face of the GOP, rude, arrogant individuals offering no solutions to the massive problems the country faces, instead just showing an utter lack of respect and appealing to the most hateful fringes of society. They are a disgrace to this country.

    September 9, 2009 at 10:35 pm |
  39. Drew

    Obama got the disrespect he deserves. This is a Man who does not respect the US or its way of life. He is a Communist in drag who will go down in history as the Worst mistake the US ever made in electing a president. He is a utter joke and makes me ashamed to be an American. I currently live in another country and the consensus is; hes a clown with no respect of culture or history, just an angry black man

    September 9, 2009 at 10:31 pm |
  40. Kathy

    I was and have been frustrated by the lack of respect toward the president of the US. I agree with Bernadette and Iris on this issue. I also saw legislator reading their txt messages and acting in disrespectful ways throughout the speech. Yet, I hear they support our students not txting in class....what non- examples they role modeled tonight. I feel that President Obama explained the plan and remains open to feedback and discussion. He has had not only courage to attack the issue (when he knows the easier route would be not to) but is compassionate in the way in which he attempts to get feedback and listen. I feel a certain safety in his leadership! As an employer, I see half my staff choosing to not have health care even when they are provided it due to the deductible cost...this can not continue on!

    September 9, 2009 at 10:31 pm |
  41. Ron

    It's funny to hear many who called Bush "not MY president" complain because the Republicans don't consider Obama their president. That's the same hypocrisy that allows the legislature of a state to change the laws about who can be appointed strictly on which party's candidate would be serving. Then they wonder why we Independents don't trust either party.

    September 9, 2009 at 10:31 pm |
  42. Robert Lake,MI

    Liberals want this public option as a way they think will be cheap enough so they can continue to live beyond their means! There is already plenty of options when buying insurance but for most who support the public option dont want to have to give up their SUv, cell phone, you know the things one would want to give up to have health insurance. We have have and always will have 3 classes of people in this country and not everyone fits into the top 2 so it means live within your means and you can already afford the insurance that is out there!

    September 9, 2009 at 10:30 pm |
  43. Robert Whiteide sr. South carolina

    Iam proud of our President! when someone trys to bring you
    down with slander and Hate,take the high road.
    I Learned that under the teaching of my Grandmother and I think
    MR. OBAMA must have been in the next room.


    September 9, 2009 at 10:28 pm |
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