Return to ads
All categories
Julianna Goldman

Julianna Goldman

Posted by
Posting ads for 49 years
Obama, live from the East Room07:32 PMShareE-mailSavePrintCommentRecommend Here is the president's news conference from this evening.No real news on health care.

Obama hit all the familiar notes in trying to win more support from the public, not to mention some conservative Democrats and moderate Republicans on Capitol Hill.Probably the best sound bite is at the bottom -- Obama says the Cambridge, Mass., police "acted stupidly" in arresting African-American scholar Henry Gates at his home near Harvard University, and added that race "still haunts us." Obama also makes a joke about trying to break into the White House.

Again, read down to the last entry on this play by play:8:01 p.m.

- Obama kicks off with a prepared statement tying his health care plan to economic recovery.This is the 10th health care event Obama has done in the past 10 days, and the messages remain the same: Fixing the health care system will help prevent future economic crises; Americans will not have to give up their current health care plan or doctor; and failure to act will only lead to higher insurance premiums and medical costs.

He says health care reform will not add to the deficit because it will cut waste and inefficiency from the current system.

Notes that he "inherited" a massive deficit.Obama also gives a six-month progress report on the economy, saying his stimulus bill and other actions helped "pull our economy back from the brink." But keeping the economy strong in the future requires a major overhaul of the health care system."Reform," Obama says, "is about every American who has ever feared that they may lose their coverage if they become too sick, or lose their job, or change their job.

It's about every small business that has been forced to lay off employees or cut back on their coverage because it became too expensive."Obama also condemns the Republican "politics" that appear to have slowed down momentum for a health care bill on Capitol Hill.

He says, "this isn't about me," it is about Americans struggling to pay their health care bills or get insurance.

"They are counting on us to get this done," he says.

"They are looking to us for leadership.

And we can't let them down."8:09 p.m.

- Ben Feller of the Associated Press asks if Obama has told Congress what specifics he wants in a health care bill.

Obama basically declines the request.The president instead decries the "misinformation" that is out there, and again stresses what might happen if no bill is passed -- more uninsured Americans, higher medical costs.

He notes that he supports programs that are already law, but wants to wrap them into an overall plan.

"Taxpayers are already putting money into the kitty," he says.But he really doesn't answer the question.

Says he won't "foreclose" ideas coming out of Congress, except for opposing higher taxes on middle-class Americans.

Does talk about a surcharge on the wealthy that does seem to meet his "principles.""I want to see what emerges from these (congressional) committees," he says.8:18 p.m.

- David Alexander of Reuters asks, "why the rush?" Is Obama - who in past months has set an August deadline - afraid the entire effort will collapse if he doesn't get a bill soon? First, Obama says he's in a hurry because of the problems people are facing, folks who get sick but can't afford insurance or doctors' bills.

"In a country like ours, that's not right."Second, he says deadlines concentrate the political mind in Washington.

"The default position is inertia."But he adds that, "I do think it's important to get this right." So that August deadline may not be so tight.8:22 p.m.

- Chuck Todd of NBC News - all the networks will get questions tonight - wonders if Obama's plan will cover ALL Americans, or just most.

Will he demand a mandate that everybody be covered?Obama says, "I want to cover everybody," but realizes not everybody can afford it or would want it.

Estimates that most of the plans in play will cover at least "97 or 98 percent" of Americans, with provisions for hardship cases.Chuck follows up with a political question - aren't conservative Democrats a bigger obstacle than the Republicans? Obama says he's not blaming Republicans, only going after the "misinformation" that some are spreading.

Praises efforts of GOP members Chuck Grassley, Olympia Snowe, and Mike Enzi.

As for Democrats, Obama says there are "a lot of different ideas" because it's such a "big issue." Cites regional differences, such as Medicare disparities.

Remains confident his party will back him.8:28 p.m.

- Jake Tapper of ABC News: Aren't some Americans going to have to give up something, whether it's higher taxes or certain medical procedures? Obama says he wants people to give up things that don't make them healthier; he cited duplicate tests as an example."Why would we want to pay for things that don't work," Obama asks.

People need to be "more discriminating consumers." Understands why people are "queasy" about the deficit, but says critics are using that issue to obscure the need for health care reform.

Explains again how he "inherited" most of the deficit problem, and it is a "deep concern" for him.

"Health care reform is not going to add to that deficit," he says.8:35 p.m.

- Another health care question from a third network correspondent, Chip Reid of CBS News - what are Medicare recipients going to have to sacrifice when it comes to new legislation? Obama says he won't reduce Medicare benefits, but will change how those benefits will be delivered so that the system can be "more efficient." Right now senior citizens pay more than they should now because of inefficiencies in the system, particularly the so-called "doughnut hole" in drug prices.8:38 p.m.

- Christi Parsons of the Chicago Tribune - hometown paper - wonders if Obama is being transparent enough in health care negotiations, as he promised in the campaign.

Obama notes that the press pool has been invited into nearly all the health care meetings, and at least one event at the White House was videostreamed.8:40 p.m.

- Julianna Goldman of Bloomberg asks a non-health care question - how far does Obama want to go with new financial regulations, a query of major interest to Bloomberg business clients.

Obama says he had to take action because the financial system was on the verge of collapse, but that threat at least seems to have passed.

Banks are starting to bounce back and repay their bailout money, which is good, but Obama says we haven't seen the kind of behavior that can prevent future collapses.

Hence the need for more reform, such as possible restrictions on executive compensation and fees for the kinds of "far out" transactions that the government wants to discourage.8:46 p.m.

- Steve Thomma of McClatchy news bureau asks if the government would ever deny certain kinds of treatment under a "public option" for health care.

Obama says the public option would be part of an overall marketplace where people can pick and choose their own plans.

He adds that public options will "help keep the insurance companies honestly." Notes that even now insurance companies are making record profits.As for the original question, Obama says the system is designed to create "changes that work." So you really can't guarantee every procedure, because some may be unnecessary; doctors should make decisions on what patients need, he says.As for his own care, Obama jokes: "I'm the president of the United States - I've got a doctor following me every minute."8:51 p.m.

-The most unusual thing about Steve Thomma's question - Obama had actually called on Steve KOFF of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.Obama rectifies the confusion by calling on Koff, who wonders if Obama is looking for an endorsement from the Cleveland Clinic when he visits there tomorrow for another health care event.

Obama says the clinic is a model of what he wants nationally.8:52 p.m.

- Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times - more home cooking - asks about Henry Gates, an African-American professor at Harvard who was arrested at his home by police in Cambridge, Mass.Obama - a friend of Gates - says he doesn't know all the facts, but the police "acted stupidly" after Gates proved he lived in the house; he also cites the history of blacks being disproportionately stopped by police.

"That's just a fact," Obama says, adding that race "still haunts us."He also notes that Gates locked himself out of his house and tried to break in - arousing natural suspicion.

Obama wonders what would happen to him if he did that, then he remembers he lives in the White House."Here, I'd get shot," he jokes.(Posted by David Jackson; photo by Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images)Tags:Barack Obama Chuck Grassley Olympia Snowe Mike Enzi
Reply to this ad
Recently viewed ads
Saved ads
Please log in to browse your saved adverts or sign up if you don't have an account yet.
Popular Stuff