March 15th, 2010
09:17 PM ET

Obama slams insurers, demands health care reform

The yearlong fight over health care reached a fever pitch Monday as President Barack Obama took his call for change to the political swing state of Ohio, slamming insurance companies and repeating his call for a final congressional vote on his sweeping reform plan.

The president's push came as the House of Representatives prepared for an expected vote this week on the roughly $875 billion bill passed by the Senate in December. House Democrats' vote counter Rep. James Clyburn, the party whip from South Carolina, told CNN Monday he was "very comfortable" that the votes to pass the Senate bill in the House were there.

"I think we have reached a significant consensus in our caucus. The will is there to get this done," Clyburn said on CNN's "Campbell Brown."

"They're, as the leaders of the party, going to find a way to do it. I think come the weekend we'll be where we need to be in order to get the 216 votes that are required."

What's next in the health care fight?

Under the strategy adopted by congressional leaders, once the House has passed the Senate bill - if it does - both chambers of Congress then would pass a series of changes designed in part to make the legislation more acceptable to House Democrats.

If enacted, the reform proposal would constitute the biggest expansion of federal health care guarantees since the enactment of Medicare and Medicaid more than four decades ago. The plan is expected to extend insurance coverage to more than 30 million Americans.

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Filed under: Health • Health Care
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Eric in Raleigh, NC

    The utter lack of accepting the facts from the Obama Administration is staggering. In the past year, the Democratic majority controlling both the House and Senate and the Democratic led Executive branch have had to resort to trying to find every loop hole, procedural advantage, closed door deals, arm twisting, and Presidential public speaking engagements to sell health care reform.

    If you are not able, after a year of trying, to honestly and through the normal legislative process sell your idea to the American people and their representatives then you have failed. If, for example Medicare and Medicad are so extensively impacted by waste, fraud and abuse that we cannot sustain the cost, then why isn't the waste, fraud and abuse addressed immediately by this Administration and this Congress? So the American people that the government is serious about and capable of fixing one problem and perhaps "we the people" will be encouraged enough to listen to additional health care reform ideas. The government, this Congress and this Administration have not shown the American people that it is capable of anything other than infighting, finger pointing, name calling, and obstructionism.

    How can we trust the government with changing one sixth of our economy when it can't end waste, fraud, and abuse that it says is rapid?

    March 15, 2010 at 10:31 pm | Report abuse |
  2. frankie

    good to see obama dropping the politcal-speak and finally showing some cajones.

    March 15, 2010 at 10:31 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Ricky

    Obama is showing true leadership.

    March 15, 2010 at 11:19 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Dick in Michigan

    Let's get behind our courageous president. When people examine this bill, section by section, they're going to back it. And what have the Republicans offered; nothing that really addresses the issue of uninsured Americans. i think the ways the Democrats want to finance this is creative and fair.. I'm all for ending Medicare Advantage, the insurance industry's raid on Medicare. I love our seniors but we subsidize them enough through regular Medicare. And I think limiting the tax exemption of high end plans is fair, too. So the Democrats plan to extend care to 30 million more Americans–some of them my nieces and nephews–without raising basic tax rates–basically by shifting around some of the subsidies that already exist in the system. I say Bravo.

    March 15, 2010 at 11:54 pm | Report abuse |
  5. alex nyc

    it's better to have taken a long time and a bi partisan approach to passing this bill, then say the numerous executive orders that the Bush administration jammed down the united states throat in his past two terms.

    March 16, 2010 at 3:03 am | Report abuse |
  6. Tony Mains

    It"s about time we support our President on heath care, let's not be a party of no

    March 16, 2010 at 5:02 am | Report abuse |
  7. KATE72

    If education in this country had not declined so much, perhaps the public could understand that health care has to be brought up to standard with the rest of the civilized world. The elephants' are always waiting for the failure and not making a move, because they don't want to spent any of the people's money on the people of this country. They just want to line their pockets by starting wars and failing to fix anything. Then the Dems have to clean it up.

    March 16, 2010 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
  8. mitzie

    Tell me what you like about section 3403, page 1,000. Buried in his, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Navada, massive amendment to the Senate version of Obamacare is Reid's anti-democratic poison pill designed to prevent any future Congress from repealing the central feature of this monstrous legislation!
    Beginning on page 1,000 of the measure, Section 3403 reads in part: ". it shall not be in order in the Senate or the House of Representatives to consider any bill, resolution, amendment or conference report that would repeal or otherwise change this subsection."
    In other words, if President Barack Obama signs this measure into law, no future Senate or House will be able to change a single word of Section 3403, regardless whether future Americans or their representatives in Congress wish otherwise!!
    Do you really want this???????? Tell your Congressmen to vote NO On Obamacare Plan, or your voice will never be heard anymore. He is not listening to us right now, he is trying to push this while we are asleep. WAKE UP PEOPLE AND TAKE ACTION. Don't let this happen to us. They have to find another way.

    March 16, 2010 at 8:34 pm | Report abuse |