Obama On The Radio: Faults GOP Stalling, Guarantees Reform Passage
Obama is blaming Republicans for inhibiting health legislation, The Wall Street Journal reports.
"On the Michael Smerconish radio show Thursday, the president said: 'Early on a decision was made by the Republican leadership that said, "Look, let's not give them a victory and maybe we can have a replay of 1993-94 when Clinton came in. He failed on health care, and then we won in the midterm elections, and we got the majority.' The Journal described Obama's comments as " the most direct shot he has taken at Republican leaders," and they were made as the president tries to "reassure liberal activists that his knees weren't buckling.... 'I guarantee you,' he told the radio show caller, 'we are going to get health-care reform done'" (Weisman and Bendavid, 8/21).
ABC News: "The president had previously said some Republicans viewed health care reform that (as not wanting to give him a victory), but today was the first time he identified Republican Leaders in the House and Senate of thinking that way" (Tapper and Miller, 8/20).
The Los Angeles Times: "And even as the president focused on dealing with what he said were misunderstandings, half-truths and outright falsehoods about his strategy for overhauling healthcare, he occasionally ventured into the vast gray area between fact and fiction." In an afternoon meeting at the Democratic National Committee, Obama "tried to spike the charge that his plan would let the government dictate individual healthcare choices. In fact, almost 25% of those who receive Medicare could see changes in their provider networks" (Parsons and Silva, 8/21).
CongressDaily: "The president also insisted there has been no change in his desire to have a public option included in any health legislation, contending that the press misread comments Sunday by HHS Secretary Sebelius. 'She really didn't misspeak,' Obama said, insisting 'she's been saying this all along. She said the same thing a month ago' .... He said a public option is just one of 'a number of components of health care' that he is fighting for" (Condon, 8/20).
The Hill reports on Obama's appearance at the grassroots forum in Washington on Thursday: "He also expressed a willingness to invoke budget reconciliation rules in the Senate that would allow healthcare reform to be approved with 51 votes instead of the 60 necessary to overcome procedural hurdles. Using the rules probably would mean Republican support would not be needed in the Senate. 'I have no control over what the other side decides is their political strategy,' Obama said. 'We are going to get this done one way or another'" (Youngman, 8/20).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.