July 21st, 2009
05:00 PM ET

Political stakes for Obama when it comes to health care?

President Obama has a lot riding on his health care reform plan-and at this point it's too close to call. The president insists the legislation isn't about him or about politics... but rather about a health care system that is breaking America's families, businesses, and economy.

President Obama delivered remarks this morning about health care reform legislation in the Rose Garden at the White House.

Not everyone's buying that argument and the Republicans smell blood.

South Carolina Republican Senator Jim DeMint said that stopping the president's push for health care could be his "Waterloo." Conservative columnist Bill Kristol has urged opponents of the president's plan not "to let up on their criticism."

Republicans are screaming about the costs - pointing to a report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office that these plans won't pay for themselves - and instead will wind up increasing the budget deficit.

The chairman of the Republican Party calls Obama's plan socialism.

And - it seems like the Republicans are gaining traction. Approval of the president's handling of health care is slipping, and Mr. Obama has been forced to take his case directly to the American people - with a prime-time news conference tomorrow followed by a town hall on Thursday.

Health care reform was a major part of the president's campaign platform; and if he doesn't get it through Congress now, it's likely to be much more difficult, if not impossible, to get it done later - once Congress starts pandering to voters for the midterm elections.

Here’s my question to you: When it comes to health care reform, how big are the political stakes for President Obama?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Jeff from Cleveland writes:
Jack, The stakes aren't as high for Obama as they are for the congressional Republicans, who are showing what hypocrites they are. Why is it they never balk at the costs of war, but they immediately label any program (like universal health care) that could help less privileged people as "too expensive"? Voters will see that all the Republicans care about is preserving big profits of big business, and that they don't care how much common individuals suffer.

Phil from Long Beach, California writes:
This will define much of his presidency the way it did during Clinton's first term. Ultimately, Obama and his Socialistic Health Care plan will be monumental failures.

John writes:
Jack, This short-term handicap the Republicans are imposing on Obama is just that, short term. Long term, Obama has much more to lose by not pushing health care reform through. And, with over 60-percent of bankruptcies being caused by health care-related costs, so do we.

Kile writes:
There's nothing wrong with our current system. It provides the best care on the planet. 80-percent of people are satisfied with the care they currently receive. Why scrap a system that has an 80-percent approval rating? Obama is trying to turn us into some sort of socialist utopia and the people are starting to wake up to it.

Lou writes:
Poll after poll shows the majority of Americans want some type of government involvement in health insurance. If passage fails, it isn't Obama that will go down. Republicans need to listen to the voters rather than the big insurance lobbyists on this issue.

Leonard from San Clemente, California writes:
Jack, It's the whole enchilada! If the president fails to pass health care reform then not only will he become the Republicans’ pinata, his Main Street Democratic support will most certainly begin to fail. It is amazing to me that a health care option similar to that enjoyed by members of Congress is such a difficult sell to the American People.

Filed under: Health care • President Barack Obama
soundoff (152 Responses)
  1. Deborah, Los Angeles

    The political stakes are huge for President Obama when it comes to health care reform. But the stakes are even bigger for the rest of us in this country: not having health care legislation pass will not only leave we the people in dire conditions, no health care reform will choke the life out of our dying economy.

    I believe that our remarkable President will pull this one out of the hat too, much to the consternation of the G-O-Party of Nope. My question is that when Obama does succeed in landing health care for all, what will be the new, negative talking point of the angry, impotent GOP?

    July 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  2. William Cunningham

    We never seem to have a problem asking young men & women to make sacrifices when venturing into harm's way (Iraq, Iran, Vietnam) but cannot willingly make a few sacrifices ($$) to ensure that every American has health care coverage. It is easy for those who have health care coverage and those who merely oppose anything proposed by the Obama administration.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  3. Annie, Atlanta

    Not as big as those in Congress voting against health reform. Media parrots GOP talking points to satisfy their corporate masters, but that won’t change the fact that a significant majority of us want health care reform now. We’re losing everything we’ve worked for, as well as our lives. Obama gets it. Congress, not so much. They haven't lost their homes to medical bills, or their lives to insufficient coverage.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  4. Penny Muleshoe, Texas

    Obama could survive this heath care thing no matter which way it goes. The Clinton's did in 1992 and Bill was also re-elected although no healthcare bill ever became law. Obama has an out and that is the Congress. I can tell you this much. If Obama continues to try and cram this bill through to law without having open debates on it where America can see it in a crystal clear way he will have a hard time getting re-elected.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  5. William Thompson


    You are asking the wrong question. It should be "What are the stakes for our country if healthcare reform doesn't pass?" This is bigger than the President, than Congress, or Democrats or Republicans. Those who don't see that do not understand the problem!

    July 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  6. Dan

    I think Healthcare Reform and the Economy are the make or break issues for his presidency. That being said, I think to jump to conclusions about his progress on these fronts isn't realistic or fair.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  7. Ken

    I've said it once, and I'll say it again. The healthcare in this nation is too entrenched in wall street and the GOP will not let up and tell these Insurance and HMO's to be more competitive amongst themselves to drop costs.

    We'll never go with a public system, we don't have the guts to establish a system that is run like the police and fire departments that are already publicly funded.

    Obama knows a public system will not become reality, but I give him credit because he is pointing a finger directly at the filthy greed in this country and telling them "Changte or Else!".

    July 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  8. Kevin

    I think president obama have the world of pressure on his shoulders, because if this dosent pull through then it may be considered a huge let down by his supporters

    July 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  9. j/NJ

    When it comes to health care reform, how big are the political stakes for President Obama?

    Big enough, the President himself has made health care reform a top priority issue...accordingly, if he fails to sign the legislation he is seeking, his political fortune is likely to be seriously compromised or worse...

    July 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  10. Jeff in Cleveland


    The stakes aren't as high for Obama as they are for the congressional Republicans, who are showing what hypocrites they are. Why is it they never balk at the costs of war, but any program, such as universal health care, that could help less privileged people is immediately labelled by Republicans as "too expensive." Voters will see that all the Republicans care about is preserving big profits of big business, and that they don't care how much common individuals suffer.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  11. John Johnson

    Jack, this short term handicap the republicans are imposing on Obama is just that – short term. Long term,Obama has much more to loose by not pushing health care reform through, and with over 60% of bankruptcies being caused by health care-related costs, so do we.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  12. Mark

    They are big, but even bigger for Members of Congress and other health care-blockers who are in the pockets of the health care industry lobby. Those whose financial interests are in direct contrast to Americans' need for health care coverage.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  13. Bridget

    It's not about President Obama. It's about doing what is right.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  14. Mr Dean n Seattle

    I feel that the stakes are higher for the republicans than the president or they wouldn't be so negative.If we get health care their done if the fight it their finished We the people are watching and behind the president

    July 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  15. Richard New Hampshire

    President Obama political stakes tied to health care reform are not as high as many think.
    Consider the challenges this country faces.Health care is important,but it will not define President Obama performance.The BIG challenges have not occured yet.
    Just wait and hold on to your seat.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  16. James In Idaho

    Jack, since he was the one who pinpointed the issue as one he intended to do serious work on I'd say it has a lot to do with what other politicians think of him.

    Personally, It's not going to sink him or be his "Waterloo." That's just desperation talking there. The republicans own twisted understandign of hope. Like Limbaugh hoping for failure...

    It's all they have left.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  17. Carla Hall

    The stakes are big for the President but even bigger for the whole American economy. In all the years of Republican majority, can they name one thing they did to curtail real costs? We need real reform, and Americans need to truly educate themselves on the subject instead of buying into the steady stream of fear mongering from conservatives who are fat and happy with the status quo. I am self-employed and have not had any health insurance in years. I would love a public option! Better to trust a government-backed plan than a for-profit insurance bureaucracy.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  18. Kelly Smith

    This Medical Socialism program is EXTREMELY important to Pres Obama. It will severely diminish his ability to get anything else done in his presidency if it doesn't pass. For what I have seen him do so far, I hope it fails. I think Obama will go down in history as the absolute worst president ever elected in this country.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  19. Kile Anderson

    There's nothing wrong with our current system. It provides the best care on the planet. 80% of people are satisfied with the care they currently receive. Why scrap a system that has an 80% approval rating? Obama is trying to turn us into some sort of socialist utopia and the people are starting to wake up to it. Obama is the enemy of America and freedom and we are going to have to fight back against this threat to our freedom.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  20. Scott in California

    I think the stakes are high for the President. But I think he will get something passed. I'm waiting for a Presidential address to a joint session of Congress that will be televised live to the American people where he can "shame" our elected officials into getting the job done we elected them... and the President to do. This country has needed Health Care reform since the Great Depression... and we can't afford to wait any longer. Send the lobbyists running for the hills and "shame" Congress into getting it done. Call a "special session" if you have to Mr. President. Nobody I know gets a "month break for the Summer. Congress has a job to do. Now GET IT DONE!

    July 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  21. Karl from SF, CA

    It is big stakes for everyone. Has the CBO figured out what it will cost over 10 years if we don't fix it and it collapses? That would be a more useful number. Yesterday I sent my health care provider $598.45. Today I went in for a 5 minute doctor visit, got a chest x-ray and picked up 4 generic prescriptions. That still cost me $105.00 total. The system is broken and DeMint and the rest of them are idiots.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  22. Phil, georgia

    Thats the sad thing, it should have nothing to do with politics, but I understand the democrats to try to push it early and fine tune as we go because the Republicans are going to try like Hell to make it Political--they don't care about people but Power.

    Republicans go straight back to their Old playbook about everything that they try to stop progress on. We, Americans have to wake up and recognize when Republicans keep trying to hit us with the same right hook.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  23. Donald

    Jim DeMint's comments illuminate the partisan politics taking place in Washington. It is very important during this crucial time that we put these disagreements behind us and hold our politicians accountable, regardless of party to pass a bill that puts Americans best interests first. As Obama said, this isn't really about him but about the American people. Comments like Jim DeMint's will continue to sour the Republican party and ultimately help Obama in the long run.

    Tallahassee, Florida

    July 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  24. Don Stough

    However big they are for Obama, Jack, they can be just as high or higher for the Republicans.

    Can't get coverage for your kids – blame a Republican! Watching helplessly as family members die without coverage and your family is ruined by the costs – blame a Republican! Can't get coverage for yourself, FROM ANYBODY, because you're not a well heeled fat cat or have commit the crime of having a pre-existing condition – then blame the Republicans!!! If they kill this I hope they get the credit each and every time a person is screwed by the greedy and murderous insurance industry, or just every time the issue is ever discussed will be fine. Hope they enjoy it.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  25. joan in Pittsburgh

    Criticism can be good however I hear only the critics talk about what is wrong with the health care reform. I have not heard of any other ideas. If the plan is not good that what can be done to improve it? I guess there is no creativity on the other side.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  26. ruben

    America wake up! Sitting around...babbling about healthcare and doing nothing about its irresponsible. If President Obama's plan doesn't sit well with everyone so what. Every decision is made knowingly of risks involved. Therefore, the decision may have to evolve over time to become a reliable outcome. It's a no brainer!

    July 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  27. Lezlii

    Mr. Obama has excellent health care. He'll be fine. Its Americas dim bulbs buying the GOP lies again who will pay for this with their lives.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  28. Anthony Galvez

    I feel this is very important for the President.

    The President has already assisted in pushing the "Stimulus" bill through on the argument that America would fall off into the sea if it wasn't passed immediately.

    This same type push for health care reform will hurt his credibility if it doen't pass and the earth doen's stop rotating as proposed by the plans promoters.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  29. Karl from SF, CA

    It is big stakes for everyone. Has the CBO figured out what it will cost over 10 years if we don't fix it and it collapses? That would be a more useful number. Yesterday I sent my health care provider a $598.45 monthly premium. Today I went in for a 5 minute doctor visit, got a chest x-ray and picked up 4 generic prescriptions. That still cost me $105.00 total. The system is broken and DeMint and the rest of them are idiots.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  30. Bryan- Los Angeles

    Health Care Reform? I've never heard what exactly it is that Obama wants to reform regarding health care? Does he want to drug companies to stop charging so much for prescriptions? Good Luck! Does he want more thorough exams with accurate diagnosis? Good Luck! Does he want to cut down on the fraud on the current system? Good Luck!!!

    And I want a beach house in Malibu!

    Our postal system can't even deliver a letter at a reasonable rate.....why would health care turn out any differently?

    July 21, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  31. L Dufour

    This should not be about Obama. The vast majority of Cdns are very happy with our healthcare system. I would have quit walking 40 yrs ago without healthcare. My husband survived terminal cancer diagnosis,asthma,2 by-passes, heart attack, knee replacement,and several strokes and we never had to consider bankruptcy. Fail to pass healthcare and you will continue with the health and economic costs you have. No Cdn politician would dare to mention dismantling our health care system. People need to support Obama more than ever right now or you will live or die regretting you didn't.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  32. Terry, Chandler AZ

    President Obama wanted too much too fast on health care. Most Americans know we need health care reform but not to the extent Obama is requesrting. Just like Tom Watson on Sunday, a great effort but he missed the clinching pott.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  33. bobwhite in Kansas

    The stakes are huge. What other public interest issue has 73% public support? And the President has the power of the veto. Congress, however, is not interested in common causes or public interests. They are all about corporate interests (health insurance, big pharma, for-profit hospitals, etc.). It is those interests who pay-off for all the governmental corruption, not me or Joe Blow Look at what Sen Baccus (MT) has accepted; as much as $1500 per day. Such obvious corruption should be agin' the law. Where is our justice?

    July 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  34. guy

    If a decent health care reform is not passed, I will destroy my voting card. Obama has not been forceful enough as it is.This would break the deal most Americans have with him

    July 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  35. Andrew

    The stakes are huge...but they should not be. Why is this such a big deal? I am a Canadian and cannot believe the numerous lies that are being spread about Canadian health care. This is all about money. Many republicans seem to be in the pockets of the insurance companies. Worse yet the lies that are being spread are actually being listened to. This all assumes that Obama is advocating a Canadian style system which has consistently denied.

    Yes, the Canadian system is public and government run, and no it is not perfect. However, people do not lose their houses because they cannot pay heath care bills. People do not go in debt for years because a relative could not afford to have a horrible illness and die.

    Also, when non-Canadians get sick in Canada and cannot pay, guess what they pay-zero. Yes we pay taxes, yes we wait for non-life threatening treatments, and yes some people fall through the cracks. However, consider this: if 46 million Americans do not have adequate coverage that is 1.5 times the entire population of Canada.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  36. Ed, California


    That's the problem, these are human problems, not political. If this package doesn't get passed. Many Americans will be getting health care coverage from the government anyway, it's called welfare! Get the jobs, back!

    July 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  37. Taylor

    I blame the republicans. They need to use their thick skulls for once. I'm sick of everyones stand on healthcare reform, too. Why can't they just pass the healthcare package and get it over with.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  38. Holger Jensen

    The stakes are huge for Obama and Congress. I'm an independent who will never vote Republican again because of that party's opposition to health care reform. And gutless Democrats who succumb to pressure from the health care lobby to kill a public option also lose my vote. A lot of bums will get thrown out of office if this doesn't pass.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  39. Ron in Ohio

    Wrong question, Jack. Instead, 'When it comes to health care reform, how big are the political stakes for the Republicans if they continue to function as the chief lobbyists for the health insurance companies and HMO's?' Using their usual fear tactics screaming about costs, how is it any worse than now when health care costs our country so much. Less talk and more reforming will be appreciated from them, thank you!

    July 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  40. Cynthia

    The stakes are enormous for the American people. As a pharmacist for almost 40 years, I have seen costs for the patient rise dramatically and profits for the big insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies go up even more. Medicare Part D prescription coverage is so complicated for the average senior to understand that it is a joke. This was the brainchild of the Republican Congress under President Bush. In California, there are over 40 different Part D plans and each one has different premiums, co-pays, deductibles and formularies. We need to simplify our system and offer Americans choices that make sense for them. I was appalled by the "Waterloo" comment. It seems Republicans only want to discredit the President. They offer no good ideas the help clear up this mess.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  41. Tony


    President Obama's ability to succeed in reforming healthcare is critical to the future trend and success of his presidency. Failure to succeed and at best he becomes another mere mortal president and his aura of a supernatural politician will fade. Consequently the Republicans will pounce on his failure and future successes will be twice as hard. But should he succeed at accomplishing one of the major goals he set for his presidency...a goal others have attempted but failed...he will remain super human and have the necessary momentum to achieve his remaining goals.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  42. Richard

    I don't think it is a waterloo for the president as the republicans are saying but a waterloo for america. It is hard to see how the public will solely blame the president for the failure of reforms if it comes to that, but one thing for sure is that America would have missed a great opportunity to get healthcare right if that happens. That would unfortunately lead to our demise.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  43. Jim in St. Paul, MN

    It may seem that health care reform will be politically costly for Obama and Democrats in congress, but although support of reform seems to be dwindling it shouldn't be a concern as Republicans are still as unpopular as ever

    July 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  44. Bruce

    The stakes for the Obamanator are moderate. The stakes for the drug/illness profit industry are enormous. The stakes for the consumer are catastrophic since the corporations have written this bill.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  45. sjc1963

    I truly feel sorry for the average American who has to suffer because of some's short-sighted greed. The lengths that the right-wing is going to to prop up a failed system shows just how much they hate the average American citizen. A terrorist can only kill you once, what the republicans are doing is worse. Is it any wonder that America is falling apart........

    Canada has had its system for decades now and even though it is far from being perfect it still works well enough. At least we're not tossing elderly persons out on the streets while they are still wearing their hospital gowns and the IV in their arms because they don't have insurance........

    July 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  46. Brian Delray Beach, FL

    DeMint, "the mouth of the South", is the same wing nut who compared the Obama Administration with the Hitler Regime. It will be a real surprise to him if Obama turns out to be Wellington and wins universal health care for all Americans. Republicans do everything but offer a plan for anything. Where is their healthcare plan, plan to withdraw from Irag and Afghanistan-they got us in-and what is their stimulus plan? And why can't they come up with an original question during Senate confirmation hearings. Next maybe they could ask for an answer to the Latina woman question in several languages ending with English..

    July 21, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  47. Alice NEWYORK

    This about health care! Not Pres. Obama. I don't grasp this, They have coverage 50m don't! what is the ratio of them versuses 50m? Our tax dollars pay for what they have,nobody said anything about $ when we had the war. Shame on all of them who can't get this done because they are worried about there seat .

    July 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  48. Larry

    People seem to be forgetting that this is not about Obama. He has health insurance. but there are millions of Americans who do not .This is about them. I bet cost will never be an issue of debate when their wife has cancer, or their child has lukhemia. Bottom line is.We as a country need this so let's stop crying about the cost and get it done. It's not fair that those of us who pay for health care continue to pay for those who don't. Make it affordable where they pay their own.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  49. Roman Deutsch, Butler, PA

    Hey Jack. I think the health care issue is about as important of an issue as it was to not elect a republican for president. After all, it was the republicans who put this country in such horrible shape that the odds of rectifying the damage done by Bush and company and republicans is as long as the odds for let's say Bush and Cheney telling the truth.
    Why is it that it was the republicans that damaged this country from greed back in 1929 and isn't it ironic that it was "publicans" back when Christ was alive who did the same things. They haven't changed in over 2000 years. This is the mind set that Obama needs to get over in order to pass health care. He is going to need a heavenly hand to undo what the republicans have done.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  50. Jason | Odenton, MD

    My family do not have health care; however, for some reason I think this Heath care proposal the President is pushing; is forced upon us without telling us the details. Remember Weapons of Mass Destruction, AIG Bailout...Congress is not known for reading the fine details and we (the American People) end up paying for it...Do not RUSH this thing.; slow down and READ what the President; both chambers of Congress and the Lobbyist are forcing upon us. Enough is Enough!

    July 21, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  51. Herman K. Doswald

    The stakes are high for Obama, but if the American people have any sense, they will put the real blame on the compassionate conservatives who have health coverage and don't care about anyone else. Unfortunately, health care reform will never come about because those who profit enormously from our present system, or lack of a system, are driven by the same greed as those who plunged us into the financial mess we are in now.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  52. Teri from Florida

    It seems as if the political stakes are much higher for the Republicans who have vowed to delay or kill healtcare reform. As for the citizens, we have all been down this road before and if nothing is done now then we will continue to see higher premiums less coverage and more bankruptcies. President Obama knows why many people voted for him and so does this congress and this senate. They shouldn't forget that.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  53. Mark Barasz

    I am an ER doc for oveer 25 years. Every shift I see people who have stopped there diabetic or high blood pressure medicine because of lack of health care. It is getting worse. As a country we need a system that protects its citizen's health as a national priority-like defense, like our roads.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  54. AJ King

    Jack: Out of curiousity, how many opponets (Senators, Congressmen, Lobbyists) are stockholders and shareholders of the pharmaceutical companies and targeted hospitals.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  55. Ralph Spyer chicago Il

    The question should be what at stake for the millions of Americans with out health care .President Obama will back in Chicago seven years from now , but the Americans with out health care may not be around at the end of his second term.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  56. frankie

    The main stakes really aren't political, this is about is regular Americans being able to get medical care. Most politicians seem to want to keep the status quo for political reasons until our medical system goes the way of our automobile industry. I am grateful that President Obama knows better than that.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  57. Kim VA

    Hi Jack;
    I think the question should be what stakes are high for both houses, after 72% of the American People want a Public Option. But since you asked this one I'll say:

    If the Houses don't think of the sick in America, and vote for this plan, then the time will be ripe for some Independents or Green Party members, to as they put it: "GET ER' DONE"

    No matter how deaf they are to our voices, it won't stop the "Blue tsunami of Change WE can Believe in" which in truth is US.
    We certainly can't trust the private insurance CEO"S who bonus 10 times the American Family's income.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  58. geebee

    the real question is what are the political stakes for the dems who don't support him since its up to them to help hime get it done. The republican 100 yr war in iraq is $2+ tiillion and counting and helped no americans. The dems health care is $2+trillion and counting and helps all americans. So the question is whom do I trust to spend my money, so far the score is 1 to 0.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  59. Tommy

    Its sad but it can. When you are this high profile like our current president is people will try to find ways to break you down. This is all about our politicans trying to get re-elected and other interest groups trying to make sure the insurance companies and doctors can still make money by exploiting our health care system.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  60. Ernest Daniel

    I have heard a lot of people ask what will the political fallout be for the president if health care reform is not passed. The real question should be what will the fallout be for Republicans?

    July 21, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  61. Thomas Bate

    Well the political stakes are high for him.. And if he was only interested in the politics of it all, he wouldn't bother. Fortunately HE CARES, unlike the GOP. And he is willing to walk away from his popular poll numbers , to take on the special interest groups and pharmaceutical industries, in order to get Americans some proper health care.. I for one have no health care. I can no longer afford 325,00 a mo for catastrophic insurance.. So while I needed a physical and the occasional check up, I had to pay for that myself ... as well as my insurance premiums.. We need options, and we need them now! Thank You Mr Obama , for taking these industries to task, so that we might have some form of health care .. Meanwhile, I'm doing all I can to stay healthy and avoid all hospitals.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  62. bob jones

    the republicans don't give a damn about health care
    their re'election in 2010 means more to them than
    what the people want. A NO vote gives them more
    financing for their campaining. If the general public
    really knew what was going on, these guys would
    get voted out in the next election.


    July 21, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  63. Sylvesta Dozier

    For 8 years the rich got richer. Now we have a president who wants to help all Americans, Democrat and Republican and Independent.
    We military retirees have a good health care plan, Congress has an excellent health plan, does the rest of the citizens of this great country not deserve the same.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  64. ro of la

    The Republicans had all of the Bush years to do something about healthcare and did nothing. Now we have a president that is trying to get something accomplished in the area of health. Even to the point of going out to campaign for it himself. James Brown was the hardest working man in show business and President Obama is the hardest working President in the white house. I know he is doing his best and I respect him for it. And I support him now and will in the future. So boo to the waterloo!

    July 21, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  65. Mike M Lady Lake, Fl

    I don't see the (possible) failure to pass the PHC plan so much an issue for President Obama as I see it as a liability for those who are responsible for it not getting passed...............the US House and Senate. They sould be held accountable for this, not President Obama. This will be a failure of both the Republican Party and the Democratic Party in both Houses. When did you say these mid term elections are coming up?

    July 21, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  66. Alvin Stewart

    It's not Obama who is at stake , he has insurance , it the million of Americans that do not have healthcare who is at stake !

    July 21, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  67. Yeshiembet Gemaneh

    In my opinion it shouldn’t be political stakes for President Obama, because America is for all. Since Republican or Democrats both parties will be beneficiaries of Health Care. If the two parties took side who will be hurt; I think the common people. As everyone would understand, health is the most import aspects in human’s life. Therefore, this situation should be evaluated from the American people point of view. If there is a better alternatives to cover every individual’s American health condition should make a negotiation.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  68. sue

    What is the hurry with Health Care Reform? This is huge. Let's take our time and get it right instead of some half baked plan which is just pushed through due to political concerns. Health Care Reform will affect every American, we need to get it right!

    July 21, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  69. Vivien

    The political states are not as high for president Obama as they are for any democrat in congress who votes against Presidents Obama's health care reform. If they think voting against will help them come election time they should think again. It will be the swing voters who will turn against any one who oposes health care reform. Think back to 1994.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  70. Joe Rogers

    Cheers from Annapolis, MD

    The stakes are high...and as usual the Republicans will reach to new lows to try to "kill health bills" as reported in today's page one headline of the Washington Post. Personnaly, I am not worried, I
    was one grain of sand in the huge dunes of votes that elected our
    current president. As President Obama will explain in tomorrow's TV appearances, he is sincere and determined in his administration's efforts to have the very best health plan for all Americans.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  71. Anne K Quagge

    I think it's the Republicans who should meet Waterloo. They don't care about the little guy . They have it - the hell with the have-nots. The Republican chairman said on CNN earlier today that the 43 million people who don't have health insurance was not such a big number. He gets his paid for!! He should be the first to go!

    July 21, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  72. Bernice

    I'm going to be honest here, I didn't bother to even read the article, I already know what I want to get off my chest.

    I am tired of seeing those Republican commericals that distort the facts on this health plan President Obama is trying to get through. Like ALWAYS the republicans pry on people's ignorance, they mislead people to believe that govt. insurace will be the ONLY insurance, they fail to mention that EVERY AMERICAN WILL HAVE A CHOICE!!!!!! Denying truth and rights are what they do! Most of these doctors that are fudging the insurance companies are REPUBLICANS and are just afraid that a good thang is may be coming to an end or at least slowed down!

    I FOR ONE WANT MY CHOICE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 21, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  73. Tom Slamecka

    The president's stake is not near as big as the stake the american people have in this fight. The opposition is the same as always. It will ruin the country and make us poor. Those who are opposed would like us to believe that we are not smart enough or have the intelligence to give everyone a chance to get medical care. Is this fight in the end a way to preserve medical care for the rich as Dick Morris suggests or is it that the insurance lobby is squeezing congress to make sure their profits stay where they are now. Whatever motivates the opposition to defeat Obama has nothing to with the healthcare agenda he is pursuing. It has something to with getting this president out of the white house. The bad part is that the nation will lose in the long run.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  74. roge

    OK America. Here's the scoop from a Canadian. Yes our universal health care system isn't perfect but, you know what? No insurance company tells me or my doctor what my treatment should be or what drugs I can or cannot have. It's all about the medicine not the money. The fact your medical system is based on profit !! should tell you everything. Don't be afraid. Obama has to be given a chance to help all of you who can't afford treatment and those of you who want the options your HMO's won't authorise. Take back your health from the insurance companies, HMO's and doctors who don't care about you just the bill. If I break an an arm no one in Canada wants to see my Visa limit first. Don't let the GOP sidetrack the debate-they're in the pockets of the medicine-for-profit folks not you.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  75. Missy M

    I think Obama would be better off letting this plan go and asking Congress to take a break and start over when they return to session. The plan they came up with takes away American freedoms (the right to handle your medical bills the way you see fit) while doing nothing more than making the insurance industry more rich and powerful. I seem to remember not too long ago, Ted Kennedy warning Americans about the insurance industry becoming too powerful. Funny how we've come full circle. The insurance companies went from being the bad guys, the swindlers to being the savior of health care – so important that some politicians want to force all Americans to buy their product, even if they don't want or need it.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  76. Stephen Chambersburg PA

    It's unfortunate that HealthCare reform became a political football.
    I think Pres. Obama has put forth a viable effort to get this legislation into effect. If I had to lay blame for the possible failure to do so, I would guess 25% for the Pres and 75% for the Legislature. Its's awfully hard the tell your uninsured constituency that you've saved them alot of money.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  77. Eric


    Over $2 trillion was spent on the war, the destruction and rebuilding of another country. Where was the Republicans outrage then? It is very important that we move quickly on this as Obama is wise to the 90's when the Clinton's attempted it and failed. The more time that passes, the more traction he will lose. Chop chop, get it on Obama's desk before the August recess or the fear mongering of the GOP and the insurance companies will win the message.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  78. Jan

    Let's try something different like making a change in health care. The Republicans do not want any change because the pharmaceutical companies want them to vote against it. Let's be bold and try a new plan.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  79. floyd berry

    Jack, President Obama is correct. This isn't about the President or the Democrats, its about America. Which is more important to the American people, helping the Country or supporting the Party. Apparently, the Republicans believe their Party is the greater concern, and not America. Tell me Jack, what parent would care how much the cost for a cure or a treatment for their child that is suffering. Do you think that parent would you care what the national debt would be it if would save their child's life. The Republicans want stupid people to believe that you will be able to buy health insurance by creating competition, hogwash!!! who can pay for health insurance when have no job or drawing unempolyment. Let the Republicans answer that question.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  80. b story

    For President Obama I dont believe it has any major political problems. Because of the tremendous job it is. However for any Republicans who start playing politics with this type of legislation I believe it can backfire because people may be scared of the outcome but we are terrified of the system in place it is ridiculous for any person to have to get primary care from the ER republicans and some dems are saying we will wind up like Canada on a wait list well go try and get care for a serious problem in the ER are you telling me that a waiting list is worse that that. It is easy for congress and the senate to sit on their high horse with their tremendous coverage that the people provide and talk down on REFORM any member of either party who tries to sell me this garbage that the current system is ok the way it is clearly wants things to stay the way they are because of politics.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  81. Forever Loving Jah from Florida

    The political stakes for President Obama are not high at all. If health care is not passed at all he will be ok in 2012. Do you think the political machine that got the first black president elected cant spin this by the next election. The true question is what are the stakes for the american people if it's not done. Wake up America! This could be the beginning of the end of an empire. HISTORY HISTORY HISTORY!!! READ READ READ!!!! I have read this history lesson before. Have you?

    July 21, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  82. Teri from Florida

    It seems as if the political stakes are much higher for the Republicans who have vowed to delay or kill healthcare reform. As for the citizens, we have all been down this road before and if nothing is done now, we will continue to see higher premiums less coverage and more bankruptcies. President Obama knows why many people voted for him and so does this congress. They shouldn't forget that.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  83. Brian Smith PhD

    Yesterday CNN reported about Debbie Brown and how the government was renting her a wheelchair for $1200, when it could be purchased for $249, including delivery. Who is at fault here? Clearly the government is out of control and without oversight. Further the company renting the chair is typically playing us all for fools. There is fraud and mismanagement at both ends. With that, it is unimaginable that anything "government-wise" will fix the health care issue. Health care reform is therefore just stump speech material. Obama will lose on health care.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  84. D. Augustine

    The Majority of the voters that elected Obama realize that 47 million people uninsured is not acceptable to them. ALL voters know that the costs will go up regardless if the Health bill passes or not, so why not insure the uninsured to? Obama knows this and so does the GOP, its time for the blue-dog democrats tp find a home.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  85. Tom Pease

    Reminds me of the Dilbert tee-shirt that reads, "Avoid criticism, do nothing." Most everyone agrees that health care needs reform, yet there is no ONE plan that a majority would fully support. We need to push ahead with Obama's plan despite its imperfections or we will be stuck with the same old crappy system for the next ten years. The political stakes for Obama are minor compared to the stakes for our health.

    Burbank, CA

    July 21, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  86. Cheryl

    His stacks are very high,2 things America people think he can do it him self with no MONEY!!! Republican Party always use the scare tacked just like they did with Clinton when he was in office .They sold the war on it with Bush and for what ever reason if it is short term memory or just plan stupidity,they fall for each time and this county suffer for it.I am sick of not having Health care.........choice what choice????

    July 21, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  87. Joe - Chicago, IL

    Pretty big, Obama has to get something done to give a victory to progressives who helped get him elected. We're rapidly losing faith in him.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  88. Sharman

    If the President gets the healthcare plan passed, history and working class Americans will remember him as a true father to our country. Even the rich may one day understand that healthcare should be a right in a country such as ours.

    The political stakes are highest, not for Pres. Obama, but for all of us. The insurance companies are no different from the Wall Street bankers. They've been sucking the blood of the American people for way too long and getting away with it by scaring the unaware away from a better plan. I say of the nay sayers, "Let them all suck True Blood!"

    July 21, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  89. Sally-Michigan

    Obama will risk everything to get health care for everyone because he truly cares about the lives of the American people. Whatever it takes–it's that important to him. Inall their ads and tv appearances, Republicans use fear-mongering bull to scare people who already have health insurance but they never say how they are going to help the millions of people who don't have it. I'm counting on the guy fighting for them to survive and triumph over those who don't give a damn about the less fortunate.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  90. Jack in Los Angeles

    Health care is like one of those steel traps, and America is like an animal that has its foot caught in it. You either lie there until you bleed to death, or you summon up the courage to do something about it, by chewing your leg off and escaping. Excrutiatingly painful and difficult in the short term, for sure, but you will likely survive over the long term. If the Republicans and the insurance industry that owns them succeed in scaring the American people again and defeat health care reform again, it's not President Obama who'll suffer. When Americans finally discover they're bleeding to death and there's nothing they can do about it, it's the Republican "Party of No" that will ultimately pay the price.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  91. Karen - TN

    The stakes are unsurmountable.

    Everyone seems to think they have the "right" to the very best of medical care – free – while eating, reproducing, recreating, and generally living in whatever way they choose. The medical community and drug companies think they should make extraordinary amounts of money for providing these services. It's a political powder keg.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  92. Ellen

    I would like to see a change in health care. I rather pay more taxes and know I get health care than to try and meddle my way thorugh the inusrance companies trying to figure out what they are covering. I have never had health insurance and can not afford it today. I approve of President Obama.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  93. Joe in MO

    Frankly, I'm more worried about the stakes for me. He can take care of himself. He has the same federal government backed health care they have in congress.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:29 pm |
  94. Katiec Pekin, IL

    It is not only crucial to President Obama but also the American people. Health care reform is a must and public option mandatory.
    The GOP is not out only to destroy health care reform, but our
    president which means destroying our country,
    They have never supported ANYTHING that would benefit middle class America, only big business.
    The republicans have thrown away all honor, integrity in order to
    put big business over what is best for us and our survival.
    They are a disgrace.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  95. James in Dublin, OH

    I would think they are huge. It'll be a major point come 2012 when all the voters possessing the attention span of a flea head back to the polls. How quickly we forget, how quick we are to blame.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  96. norm

    Being a spectator from Canada on your healthy care debate I find it hard to believe the dirty moves by your insurance companies and special interest groups to portray our national health care as substandard to the American version of health care for profit, every citizen in Canada is covered, it is not free but payed through our tax system, costly yes but necessary, most of us Canadians believe health care is a right not a privilege and that catastrophic illness should not lead to financial ruin or bankruptcy. Just watched a info commercial? portraying that under Canadian health care some how the doctor needs to consult some government agent, well that's bs, I cant lie there are delays with our system but you will get treatment in a timely fashion, I have had some serious health issues in my life, seen a specialist ,been hospitalized and treated with in hours. Ask yourselves why the most powerful nation on earth can't provide universal health care for every citizen!

    July 21, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  97. Moses. P

    The Republicans are using the same ideas to destroy good plans that the country needs. They are always supported by rich insurance companies to stop the plan for going into action. President Obama is here to help but since rich people are the owners of most insurance conpanies. is now time republicans think about the poor instead of the rich. Health Care reform might be Obama biggest challenge right now but not an obstacle.

    El cajon, CA

    July 21, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  98. Matthew Enthoven

    Obama has been on television every day saying that "the cost of Medicare and Medicaid is skyrocketting. We have to do something." But what he hasn't yet answered is how his plan will be any different. You can't beat economic science by just saying "it won't be so."

    Honestly, the reason this bill hasn't yet been passed is that there's no substantial evidence that it will lower costs. While the uninsured don't really care about how much it costs to get them healthcare, the remaining insured do care.

    Again, he consistently fails to explain is how his new healthcare system will NOT skyrocket in a similar fashion to Medicare and Medicaid. All we hear is that "it's going to lower costs," but we're starting to see Democrats sincerely doubt that along with ordinary citizens as support continues to drop. People are starting to see the commercials against the bill, and they're believing it.

    I fully agree that we have a moral obligation to ensure that every citizen who needs healthcare gets it. But Obama's plan is clearly a novice attempt at fufilling that.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:30 pm |
  99. Leonardo A. Luna


    It's the whole enchilada! If The President fails to pass Health Care Reform then not only will he become the Republicans pinita, his Main Street Democratic supprort will most certainly begin to fail. It is amazing to me that a health care option similar to that enjoyed by those in Congress is such a difficult sell to the American People.

    L. Luna / San Clemente, CA

    July 21, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  100. Roman Deutsch, Butler, PA

    Wow since I'm the only one writing I guess I'll say some more. We're suppose to be a nation that is based on the fundamental principals of Christianity and the belief that God is our spiritual leader. Ok. republicans, let's say I'm God, My question to you is; Why aren't you helping your fellow citizens to affordable health care? You've ran the show for eight years and you did nothing. Now you're out of power and you fight for nothing to be done again. So you say you believe in the teachings of Christ, well, do ya? It's apparent that you only believe when it benefits you and not the country.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  101. Robert Ferranti

    When it comes to health care reform, how big are the political stakes for President Obama?

    Miniscule when compaired to devastation done to the middle class ? "working folks" by the same old status quo of the previous administration and their stagnant partisan politics. "GOP way or the Hiway" (better dead than red hawks that are still fighting the cold war)

    OY VEY
    Momma Mia

    July 21, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  102. Terry Beck

    Yes, the health care political stakes are high for this administration, but the stakes of health care are much higher for the CONSUMER of health care. You're framing the question in terms of win or lose at the game of politics; meanwhile the health care consumer is losing the game every day.

    However, I fear that the big players in this game will ultimately win anyway. They always have in the past. The insurance industry, the pharmaceuticals, the big medical corporations, the stock market, the commercial real estate market, and the media that takes advertising dollars from the industry, could lose some of their profits if the government was able to force a true open marketplace

    July 21, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  103. Bill Dixon

    I think the political stakes are big for Obama . Having said that the stakes for this country are even greater.
    Health care cost are out of sight, I here stories of the horrors, that people have to deal with because they can"t afford health care.
    I've seen in my own family, the effect of not having health care, being denied services, struggling to catch on doctor bills , denying their kids thinks that they need.

    I believe there is no way that our for profit , health care system can continue on it"s present coarse High cost . less service, higher co- pays are a prescription for failure.


    July 21, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  104. Penny Muleshoe, Texas

    Obama has nothing to worry about until this bill is passed. Once it is passed he better come up with thousands of qualified medical personel to provide for what he signs. You can have all the insurance in the world but if you do not have the doctors and nurses and medical facilities to provide this care then you have nothing worth insuring.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:32 pm |
  105. Roger Zoeller

    Jack, If Obama hasn"t had time to read the article about taxing the insurance companies for thje cost of insurance then WHY is does he want Congress to pass the insurance bill that is over 1,000 pages long that no one has had a chance to read!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHAT A JOKE . The American People need better than That ! Give the American people the same health care that Congress has Pool us all together and we will all have a low rate of HealthCare !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 21, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  106. miguel from San Leandro, CA

    I'm more concerned about my families stake if we don't modify this corrupt healthcare system. Bush didn't even try. Obama realizes this is important. I'm glad it's Obama and not me. I don't trust the republicans to do anything at all.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  107. Mike Webster NC

    Do the Repubs not understand that Americas Unemployed are on Cobra and Cobra will break us or will run out this year. Where will we go and who will pay our medical bills? Damn the Deficit and full speed ahead. Go Mr. President.
    We need help Now!!!

    July 21, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  108. Joe in Texas

    Failure of the Health Reform Bill would be the best thing that could happen to Pres. Obama because it may prevent him from becoming known as the President that bankrupted the U.S.A and made us a secondrate country.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:34 pm |
  109. Holly in Idaho

    I take exception to your question. It doesn’t matter a hoot what the political stakes are for Obama. This, health care reform, is about what’s at stake for us, the American people. But it’s all about insurance companies and the like buying off Congress… as usual… so it’s almost hopeless. This isn’t about Obama. Let’s get real. This is about us, Jack. But then, it really isn’t, is it? It’s about re-elections. What a country.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  110. Matthew Enthoven

    The tone surrounding the healthcare plan is that "this is it." If Obama cannot pass the bill here, it's not likely to get passed before 2012. Politically, however, there's still much more to get done – the war, gay marriage, the supreme court appointment, and environmental policy. This is a big deal, but it won't be what defines his presidency.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  111. mary

    Shame on any politician who makes this a partisan issue! Health and access to medical care should be considered part of life, as in "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness". We were willing to spend billions on an unnecessary war in Iraq but we can't find the will and the money to care for our own citizens? This shouldn't be a political question at all.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  112. Jose in McAllen TX


    First of all, this is a race between the Obama administration and the conservative voice in America. While Obama is trying to force though healthcare reform, conservatives are informing the people about what's really in the bill. The administration and the democrats know that the more informed the American people are about the democrat's healthcare legislation, the more push-back the administration will receive. Obama has taken a page from history from the Clinton years and knows that it can't afford to let the people know what's really at stake before shoving this massive legislation through congress. Look to Obama turning up the heat by trotting out more hardship cases of people with no insurance, with the hopes of pulling at our heart strings and appealing to people's emotional side. On a side note, Jack; don't the hard working people of this country deserve a little pandering?

    July 21, 2009 at 5:35 pm |
  113. Marjorie Prescott,AZ.

    The political ramifications are enourmous. If pres. Obama's push for public health loses it will send a clear message that conservative members of congress would elect the private health care industry as the defacto leaders of this country. Can't people do the math? Last year alone private health insurance companies raked in over 13 billion dollars in profits and that was after lavish executive perks and several generous campaign contributions to the senate and congress. That 13 billion sure could have saved alot of lives but instead we have a countless number of deaths that we will never know of. Yes I'm speaking of the uninsured. It's easy to say no to giving health care to those who don't currently qualify when you can't see their faces, you don't know their names, or when it's not your problem. We are only as great as we treat our poor!

    July 21, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  114. Sharman, NC

    If the Republicans are smelling blood over the President's Healthcare initiative, then it's only because they are part of the same group of bloodsuckers who brought down Wall Street. Let them drink True Blood, instead of the life blood of the American people.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  115. Tommy

    Its sad but it can. When you are this high profile like our current president is people will try to find ways to break you down. This is all about our politicans trying to get re-elected and other interest groups trying to make sure the insurance companies and drug companies can still make money by exploiting our health care system.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  116. Robert Dolan

    As usual, the Republicans are happy with the status quo. And for the Republicans, status quo = status NO.

    No is the answer to everything from the Republicans.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  117. D. Augustine

    The Majority of the voters that elected Obama realize that 47 million people uninsured is not acceptable to them. ALL voters know that the costs will go up regardless if the Health bill passes or not, so why not insure the uninsured too? Obama knows this and so does the GOP. the fight is on and its time for the blue-dog democrats to find a home

    July 21, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  118. kelly

    This will be a bigger bomb for the GOP who offer no solutions. The problem of Healthcare will not go away. It will be magnified in the years to come. And we can all point our fingers at the GOP for not even trying.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  119. keith

    Who cares about the consequences for the president,I care about the consquenses for the people (legal citizens) of this country, the massive debt and a mess that they call health care, which the congress and president will not particapate in I wonder why!!!

    July 21, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  120. Greg Starcevich

    Hi jack How about all congressmen and women in the house and senate take a big pay cut like many Americans have and take basic health Insurance to help pay for this health care reform . The Republicans and lobbyist are against anything to help the working American . The Republicans had there time and did nothing to help out working people . Lets have health care now .

    July 21, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  121. Barbara NY

    If health care reform fails, I will not blame President Obama. The blame will need to be placed equally on the Republicans AND the Blue Dog Democrats. Both groups have more loyalty to their corporate donors than they have to the American people. Shame on them.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  122. Rebecca in SC

    The media keeps asking if Obama will pay a price if health care fails. Why does no one ask about the political price the republicans (and some democrats) will face if they kill health care because they want to protect their corporate sponsors or make political points. Obama is less likely to pay a price for trying but failing to do something to help ordinary people than the folks who succeed in stopping him because they are indifferent to the needs of the middle class and the poor.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  123. Brian

    Health care has to be done correctly. The right is complaining about not being consulted, why consult when your new idea is "lets just stop Obama" & the left is the same old left, "lets make up for lost time"
    We will all have to make the adjustments to attain health care for the nation. The rich will have to pay, health care benefits will have to be taxed, more doctors will be needed & mandated to see all types of patients such as the handicapped, insurance companies will have to make less and stop acting like legal loan sharks.
    This is political selfeshness & no courage at its best. Then again when can any of the aforementioned ever be accused of having courage. Some things never change. Keep up the good fight Pres. Obama. We need you.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  124. Sylvia

    As a Canadian I am baffled by the attitude of Americans to public health care. We pay less than you pay for Medicare alone, everyone is covered 100%, the system is under the control of voters rather than shareholders, and we have better health outcomes and longer lives. It's a no-brainer. Take the huge corporate profits out of health care and it becomes affordable for everyone.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  125. Christian

    As Canadian citizen, I am disgusted seeing in all the media the Canadian health system trashed.
    I have only one word for those high ranked republicans (and some democrats) denying health insurance to 47 million people:
    CRIMINALS. Because they are really hurting and killing millions of people each year.
    People who probably can not imagine a free heart or kidney transplant, free hospitalization and no stress that you will die because you can not afford paying for prescription drugs and health care.
    I hope the Americans do not buy their criminal lies.
    Because they are really CRIMINALS.
    It is one thing I wonder about: why is the Canadian government silent?

    Montreal, Canada

    July 21, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  126. Lisa R

    my tax dollars pay for Obamas,the GOPs and everyone else on capital hill why can't I have the same quality care.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  127. Scott (Birmingham, AL)

    No he can't! DeMint has it right. The political ramification for him is huge.

    If health care reform were really so important to Obama (and it is not a political game for the progressives) why did he let the progressive clowns in the House and the Senate write the bills.? Why didn't he get a blue ribbon panel of citizens, doctors, nurses, and heath care experts together to come up with a non-partisan (non-political) reform plan?

    This is all about big goverment control of the health care. The progressives want to control all the citizens of this county. Controlling heath care is a step in plan their master plan that will lead us to European socialism.


    July 21, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  128. Kate Bittner

    The republican party has always pandered to the health care lobbyists. The GOP is the party of no no no , for anything that might benefit "we" the people. The democrats won the super majority for a reason, and that is to fix what the republicans broke!
    Kate Bittner
    Erie, Pa.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  129. chuck Pike

    The Dim Wit from S.C. doesn't care if people die from lack of insurance. They must be poor, and so that means that they have to be democrates.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:43 pm |
  130. Don Nicolson

    I thank God that I live in a country where health care really is universal and complete. I shudder to think how I would feel if I had to cope with the insane system you folks have in the United States. I really hope you will finally catch up with the rest of the world and update your system so that it covers everyone in a reasonable way.

    Don Nicolson, Ontario, Canada

    July 21, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  131. Bryan- Los Angeles

    What I don't understand is why it is that immigrants...legal or illegal...get housing, food stamps and health care....while those who were born here, have paid into the system and even fought for this country are struggling or even destitute? Obviously something is very wrong with our system! If someone can come here from a foreign land and receive handouts over those born and raised here......then we have huge problems in the U. S.!!

    July 21, 2009 at 5:47 pm |
  132. Bruce West

    If Obama can't get health care reform accomplished his political capital will be hurt. However, the Republicans would be hurt even more in the long run. The growing ranks of the uninsured will see the Republicans as the roadblock to reform ,and the GOP will lose again in 2010.

    Bruce from Newport Beach, CA

    July 21, 2009 at 5:47 pm |
  133. Brandon

    President Obama must get this done. He must also get it done correctly. I want to see the President and Congress pass a single payer system. These insurance companies have ripped off Americans far too long and it’s time to put them in their place and give comprehensive coverage to all Americans. I’m sick of the Republican rhetoric. If they can’t help find a solution, then shove it down the Republicans throats and give them a taste of their own overpriced medication.

    Brandon (Aliso Viejo, CA)

    July 21, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  134. patricia reed

    the question should be 'how big are the political stakes for the republicans? it appears that that the insurance companies' gravy train is trying to ensure that the government does not get involved in any program to help uninsured or underinsured citizens. i think that all republicans should donate their health-care coverage to the uninsured; let them pay for their own insurance coverage. after all, they have excellent policies that are paid for by the taxpayers. i hope obama just does the right thing – let the republicans whine – and pass the health-care reform!!!

    July 21, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  135. J. Weidenbach

    I live in Germany where 100% medical insurance is required for all residents. What glory! I am privately insured (yes, it's more expensive, but I receive VIP service), some of my neighbors are insured through their employers, some share the cost with their employers, some are insured through public companies, and those who can't afford insurance receive assistance so that they are covered for everything, too. What are these GOP folks talking about? This isn't "socialism", this is a responsible society. No one is turned away from an ER and no one has to worry about unlimited care should one have the misfortune of a terrible accident or a deadly disease. After all, people and their well-being are most important. Obama's plan is just a first step to help bring the US system into the 21st Century. He's not asking for much, he's asking to save the country (taxpayer) hundreds of billions and to help reduce poverty. What's wrong with taking a step in this direction?

    July 21, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  136. Felix- TX

    The GOP is myopic and ignorant of the factors that effect our economy. I wonder if these Congress men ever took economics 101 in College. It's funny how they don't realize that the high cost of health care is directly related to our decaying economy. The singular reason most companies are laying offs, outsourcing and filing for bankruptcy is due to the high cost of health insurance. Companies do not want to pay health benefits any more and cannot sustain the high cost of health care for their employees. The resultant effect is massive lay offs to cut cost or outsourcing. About 5 yrs ago, I used to pay $50 per month for my family coverage. Today, I'm paying a ridiculous amount of $500 a month for the same family of five. I can feel the pain. I don't need any ignorant and visionless GOP to tell me that reforming our current health care system will increase America’s deficit. With the advent of George Bush , we have been in deficit for over 8 yrs. The cost has been going up for awhile with no end in sight. And if nothing is done today to stop this cost from skyrocketing, it will bankrupt our nation.

    The hypocritically coward, politics first and country last GOP does not get it and which is why they will continue to dwell in the wilderness. For what goes around comes around.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  137. Chris Biller

    The political stakes for President Obama are HUGE when it comes to the health care issue. I ,along with millions of people ,supported him in the hopes that a merciful leader would make it possible for all Americans to receive adequate health care. In a country as great as ours, it is deplorable that so many must face devastating disease with no hope for cure due to lack of monetary means. Health care for all citizens is not a "hand out". It is what makes a nation united & great.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:49 pm |
  138. Allen-Minnesota

    The stakes are simple and I don't understand why congress or the president can't see it. Non insured we pay for – underinsured we pay for and those who have but get refused due to prexisting conditions
    we pay for somewhere along the line. Whether it be in higher insurance costs or higher fees at hospital due to those going to emergency room due to lack of insurance. The only answer is cover them all no special plan for rich and lesser for poor but equal for all.
    America was founded on everyone is equal so lets make it that way.
    I'd feel better if my middle class health plan got me the same care as
    my congress person.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  139. Tunde Arogunmati

    The American people have to weigh the benefits of getting the healthcare equation sorted out once and for all. They are the ones who will be affected by the eventual outcome and are the real stakeholders, so the political implications pale into insignificance compared to the all inclusive value to be obtained or otherwise.

    Lagos, Nigeria.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:50 pm |
  140. Robert


    How do we expect our politicians to fix healthcare (or social security for that matter) when they don't have the same health insurance (or even social security) like the average joe-the-plumberto? Isn't that like asking the police department when things go wrong to investigate themselves?

    Las Vegas

    July 21, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  141. jimmy

    The US has the best health care anywhere, true. That is not the problem and no one is trying to change the quality. The issue is accessibility–who has access, who can afford it. It is the best care available but it is OVERPRICED for no good reason but the greed of special interests.

    The govt has to intervene to make prices more competitive because it is a monster out of control. Giving people ACCESS to health care is not "socialism" despite all the hyperbole and name-calling from the people who are profiting off the current and broken system.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  142. Terri Schmitz

    It's easy for the Republicans to deny healthcare to Americans because they already have healthcare. They need to quit using scare tactics and pass the necessary bills so the rest of us can have health care, too.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  143. Lee in NW Ohio

    President Obama will survive. Was it in his inaugural speech he said it was time to put aside childish things! He has acted as a mature man while the Senate & House members are acting like fourth grade boys with name calling, dirty tricks, nasty bullying behavior! We need to put pressure on Congress to perform in a responsible manner while putting the American people first. that would certainly be a concept not seen in many years for sure. Then we need to run the lobbyists and money handlers out of D.C. & have our congressmen accountable to the public!

    July 21, 2009 at 5:57 pm |
  144. miguel from San Leandro, CA

    Kelly Smith- W is already the worst president of all time. That's a tough standard to beat.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:58 pm |
  145. Emmet Wilson

    Health care is important but as the plan stands everyone knows it need more work before it should be passed. The large medical institutions, doctors, lobbists, and drug makers have to fall in line to lower costs and they have shown no plan to do so.
    Equally important is for jobs to be implimented so people could afford any Health Plan. Where are all the shovel ready jobs that every state said they were ready to begin?
    Finally, every banking institution has posted a 2nd quarter gain, the prime rate is still near zero, but my credit card interests rates were doubled and why has the Government not cohersed the institutions to lower my interest rates?

    July 21, 2009 at 5:58 pm |
  146. Allen, Cypress

    Sure, the stakes are high for the President. However, the stakes are even higher for the American people. If the system is not reformed, more and more people will lose their healthcare and/or end up with less care. Until the American people wake up and demostrate the same courage they did last November, the healthcare reform bill will go the same way as the last one and that will be sad, because, a society that most other countries used to admire for its courage will undoubtedly have become a country of spineless people.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:58 pm |
  147. Bonnie Clarke

    I'm from Toronto, Ontario where we have OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Plan). It's great and it works well. I have the freedom to choose my doctors, and I have the right to receive medical care when needed. Some of your commercials say just the opposite. Yes, I do pay a little more in in-come tax to help cover the cost, but it's well worth the rewards.
    So why are the Republicans acting the way they do? I think it's just an attack against President Obama.
    I also think rich Americans should start being a little more compassionate towards the poor in the USA. Health care will work for everyone, rich and poor.

    July 21, 2009 at 5:59 pm |
  148. Delia

    The stakes are huge for Obama, but they're even larger for the American people. If we continue letting the insurance companies decide who gets what when, then we all lose. Not only will we, individually, pay more for our healthcare, but we will lose jobs to other countries. The Republicans who say (like Steele) that only 47million aren't covered are idiots when you compare it to other countries where NO ONE is uninsured. Come on - let's get this show on the road and catch up to the rest of the world!

    July 21, 2009 at 5:59 pm |
  149. Jim Tole

    Hi Jack-I've enjoyed your commentary for years. I live in Hamilton Ontario Canada-. I love our health care system-it comes out of our taxes but it is not a burdun. I can't imagine living under the American model. If my family or I get sick we get immediate coverage. I think that you country should adopt the Canadian model of health care!!!

    July 21, 2009 at 6:00 pm |
  150. Fred Christman

    Now more than 50% of the population announces with some ceremony that they think if this health reform is passed, they will have to pay more for health care. Can we assume from that, that these people think that a failure of the reform means that the cost of health care will remain at current levels?

    July 21, 2009 at 6:00 pm |
  151. Beverly Bishop

    The stakes are huge for President Obama–but they are also huge for a large portion of Americans. I have worked in a hospital outpatient reimbursement department for 25 years now. If you don't already know it, the hospitals have to raise rates to astronomical heights to make up for all the indigent care we see in our emergency rooms. By the way–it is federal law we have to see everyone who comes through the doors of the ER–whether for a paper cut or cold. The patients, their families and all people who have an insurance plan are already paying! It is through the hikes in insurance premiums. It is through the reductions in services available in your insurance plans.

    Now we see patients with high deductible type insurance plans–deductibles of $5000.00. They probably never thought they would need their plan to pay- and now when they do need hospitalization–it is causing them to go broke for a single visit. WE NEED CHANGE NOW & COVERAGE FOR EVERYONE. Something is better than nothing at all.

    July 21, 2009 at 6:01 pm |
  152. Anne (Virginia)

    Why doesn't the Obama administration offer the millions of Americans the same healthcare plan that the Senators, Representatives , Vice President and President have? None of them want the plan that is being offered to all of us – I wonder why. I'm sure they know it's flawed. We want what they have and why shouldn't we Americans have their health care plan. If this health care plan is like what the Canadians and British people have, I've heard that many of them come to the U.S. for their operations because their countries make them wait long periods of time, not enough beds, etc. Is that what we, the people of the U. S. want? Not I, for one.

    July 21, 2009 at 6:01 pm |