Live blogging. The president will speake from the East Room of The White House. We expect to hear a tone that Obama is showing leadership, and health care will pass – reconciliation is assured, as there are no Republican votes. Doctors and Nurses are filing in, in their blue and white medical coats. They will stand behind Obama as he speaks. Transcript here when available.
Obama says he is bringing this journey to a close. He speaks of the health care summit. Every idea has been put on the table, every argument has been heard, everything that could be said about health care has been said.
Both sides say they agree that the status-quo is not working. He does some strong bashing of insurance companies. What do we do about it? On one end of the spectrum: some suggest a government run system, others want to loosen protections on insurance companies. Obama disagrees with the second approach, but says nothing about the first.
It is time to give the am people more control over their health care and their choices. Doctors and nurses and physician assistants should be free to help decide what is best for their patients. Folks, he’s blowing smoke.
My proposal gives Americans more control by holding insurance companies accountable. You can keep your insurance plan and you can keep your doctor with my plan.
My proposal changes three things: I will end the worst practices of insurance companies. They cannot drop you because have preexisting conditions, they can’t raise premiums
Uninsured and small business employers get the same kind of choice that congress gets (he did not say we get the same insurance – big distinction. Who defines “the same.”) In the new marketplace, if you still cannot afford the coverage we’ll give you tax credits. The largest middle-class tax cut ever.
$100 billion a year. He is going to spend your money more wisely. The dollars spent will make insurance more affordable and more secure. A new fee on insurance companies. Make sure the wealthiest americans pay their fair share in Medicare.
All the costs are already paid for (lying son of a goat herder). We have now incorporated most of the serious ideas from across the spectrum. We do this while protecting Medicare benefits (lie). The senate bill reduces most people’s benefits and brings down our deficits. He quotes the CBO, which Paul Ryan and Lamar Alexander showed to be incorrect.
Best ideas from Dems and Repubs, including some at the health care summit. Gets rid of provisions that have no place in health care. Despite all that we agree on and all the repub ideas we have incorporated.
Disagreement between Democrats and Republicans on how much oversight we should have (government oversight). We would “tinker around the edges” if we do this piecemeal, as Republicans want.
There will be no more negotiations. We will not start over. (The urgency of the strategy of manufactured crises – American. You are seeing it and hearing it live).
He says it deserves an up or down vote – which could have been done at any time, with 60 votes before Senator Scott Brown was elected.
He wants a vote in the next few weeks. Make your voice heard if you want this bill. (Dittos for all of us who do not want it, although the president does not mention you.)
He will lead. He won’t let excuses get in the way. You are waiting for me to lead. I don’t know how it will play politically. “Let’s get it done.”
After press conference talk:
BRETT BAIR: The Prez says make your voice (if you want his plan). Polls are not in favor of the President. This plan extends the life of Medicare and cuts $500 million dollars. The CBO said the $500 million is being spent twice. He did not use the word reconciliation. A lot of painful days on the Senate floor as they try to count votes.
MIKE PENCE: Disappointing to millions of Americans. Has ignored the overwhelming sentiment of the American people. We heard talk of a smaller bill, more incremental approach, but didn’t hear that today. Advancing the gov’t having more control, no matter what the President said. It’s more of the same. Most troubling the prez openly advocating leaders of his party abuse historic rules of the Senate to pass his plan (reconciliation)
MEGYN KELLY: President: Already passed the vote of a super majority in Senate. Now deserves an up-or-down vote.
MIKE PENCE: To use reconciliation is an abuse.The issue of health care and insurance is a profound issue to the American people. Pence questions the President’s assertion that this must get down now. Pence suggests that Dems want to push this through before so that the shock is over before the elections.
MEGYN KELLY: The President talked a different tune before he became President, when he said you cannot pass health care with a 50+1 vote on something as important as health care. (if you have not seen these statement – view them on video here.)
MITCH MCCONNELL RESPONSE: Obama didn’t mention 1/2 trillion dollars in new taxes or $2.5 trillion dollars in new spending. The only thing bipartisan about passing the bill is the opposition to it. In all my time here in Washington, nothing has been focused as to the extent that this bill has been. It is an argument between Democrats and the American people.
About Scott Brown, exit polls in the most liberal state, Massachusetts, 48% mentioned health care. No other issue had more than 5%.
Musing that the point of this is to make history. You will be history if you vote for this.
If this bill is passed, it will not be behind our Democratic friends, it will be before them and they will see that in the polls. If passed we will have a national referendum in this country.