Republican Leaders Increase Opposition to Obama on Health Care
On Monday, both Republican National Committee Chair Michael Steele and Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) criticized President Obama's health reform push, specifically his timeline for the legislation, the Washington Post reports (Bacon/Fletcher, Washington Post, 7/21).
In a speech before the RNC, Steele said, "The president is rushing this experiment through Congress so fast, so soon, that we haven't had a moment to think if it would work -- or worse, to think about the consequences to our nation, our economy and our families' economic future if it doesn't" (Young, The Hill, 7/20).
Steele added, "Obama-Pelosi want to start building a colossal, closed health care system where Washington decides. Republicans want and support an open health care system where patients and doctors make the decisions."
In response to a question about whether Obama's health plans are akin to socialism, Steele said, "Yes. Next question" (Alonso-Zaldivar, AP/Baltimore Sun, 7/20).
Steele said, "We do not allow one political leader to risk our health care system," adding, "It is time to hit the pause button on this administration's reckless experiment with America's economy and our health care system" (Silva, Los Angeles Times, 7/20).
DeMint said, "The last time the president made grand promises and demanded passage of a bill before it could be reviewed, we ended up with the colossal stimulus failure and unemployment near 10%. Now the president wants Americans to trust him again, but he can't back up the utopian promises he's making."
DeMint added, "He insists his health care plan won't add to our nation's deficit, despite the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office saying exactly the opposite" (Washington Post, 7/21).DeMint also took issue with Obama's statements that Republicans favor the status quo. "Let's be clear: There is no one in this debate advocating that we do nothing despite the president's straw man arguments" (Budoff Brown, Politico, 7/20). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.